Libyan coastguards intercept 60 illegal migrants en route to Europe

A number of illegal immigrants on board a dinghy heading toward Italy from Libya. [Photo: Archive – Internet]

Libya’s coast guard said it had intercepted at least 60 Europe-bound illegal migrants, including a woman, off the country’s Mediterranean coast.

The Libyan Navy Spokesman Ayoub Qassim said Tuesday that a rubber boat carrying the migrants — African nationals, including five from Bangladesh — was intercepted a day before at sea near the city of Al-Khoms, around 120 kilometers east of the capital, Tripoli.

Qassim added that the illegal migrants were given humanitarian and medical aid before being taken to a refugee camp in Tripoli.

Libya became a major conduit for African migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe after the 2011 revolution that ousted and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi.

Libyan authorities have stepped up efforts to stem the flow of migrants, with European assistance.

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