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119 illegal migrants rescued off Libyan coast last week: IOM

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday that 119 illegal migrants were rescued off the coast of Libya last week.

“From Jan. 7 to 13, 2024, 119 migrants were intercepted and returned to Libya,” IOM said in a statement.

The rescued migrants include four women, IOM said, adding that two dead bodies of illegal migrants were also retrieved.

According to IOM, a total of 17,190 illegal migrants were rescued and returned to Libya in 2023. Meanwhile, 962 died, and 1,536 went missing on the Central Mediterranean route off the Libyan coast.

In 2022, 24,684 illegal migrants were rescued and returned to Libya, while 529 died and 848 went missing.

Due to the insecurity and chaos in the country since the fall of late leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, many migrants, mostly Africans, chose to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores from Libya. ■

Famagusta Gazette