Libyan Coast Guard rescues 600 migrants off Sabratha shores


The Libyan Coast Guard on Sunday stopped three boats carrying 600 migrants including pregnant women trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, an official said.

The coastguard “intercepted three large dinghies off the coast of Sabratha” around 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Tripoli, Colonel Ayoub Qassem, a spokesman for the Tripoli government’s navy, said.

He said all the migrants were from Africa, adding “there were 80 women including some who were pregnant.”

The colonel rejected a statement from French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Thursday that some 800,000 migrants were in Libya hoping to cross to Europe.

“The number is exaggerated,” he said.

Around 330,000 migrants have landed in Italy from Libya since the start of 2014.

Libya has long been a stepping stone for migrants seeking a better life in Europe, with Italy some 300 kilometres (185 miles) across the sea.

People smugglers have stepped up their lucrative business there in the chaos that followed the 2011 ouster of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

European leaders fear that a deal with Turkey to tackle the EU’s worst ever migrant crisis will increase crossings attempts from Libya.

The views expressed in Op-Ed pieces are those of the author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Libyan Express.
How to submit an Op-Ed: Libyan Express accepts opinion articles on a wide range of topics. Submissions may be sent to Please include ‘Op-Ed’ in the subject line.
You might also like

Submit a Correction

For: Libyan Coast Guard rescues 600 migrants off Sabratha shores

Your suggestion have been successfully submitted

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Libyan Express will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.