Libyan forces arrests migrants in Tripoli’s ‘anti-drug’ crackdown

Number of arrested had reached 4,000

Libyan authorities arrested at least 4,000 migrants in the capital Tripoli, officials said Saturday, says Ean Libya news outlet.

The raids took place Friday in Gargaresh area as part of a security campaign against illegal migration and drug trafficking. Officials said Friday that 500 illegal migrants had been detained during the campaign led by the Interior Ministry. On Saturday the number of arrested had reached 4,000.

Gargaresh, a known hub for migrants and refugees and has seen several waves of raids on migrants over the years, but the latest one was described as the biggest.

A government official said authorities would “deport as many as possible” of the migrants to their home countries. He said many of the detained had lived illegally in Libya for years. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to brief the media.

The crackdown comes amid a spike in crossings and attempted crossings of the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. Libya’s coast guard has intercepted around 25,300 migrants and returned them to Libya’s shores so far this year.

Hundreds of migrants were seen in images posted on social media Friday by the Interior Ministry sitting clustered together in a yard with the banner of the Collection and Return Center in the background.

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