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More than 90 illegal migrants rescued off Libyan coast

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A Libyan coastguard vessel carries migrants rescued off the coast of al-Khums, about 120 kilometres east of the capital, as it approaches the pier in Tripoli’s naval base on February 10, 2021. – Libya has rescued more than 1,500 would-be migrants off its west coast within a week, a non-governmental organisation said. On February 10 alone, 240 African migrants were rescued from two boats off the port city of Al-Khums, said Lieutenant-Colonel Mohammed Abdel Aali of the coastguard. Migrants intercepted off the Libyan coast object to being returned to the country, preferring to wait for humanitarian rescue ships. (Photo by – / AFP)

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), late Friday, said that more than 90 illegal migrants were rescued off the Libyan coast.

“Ninety-three people were brought back to Libya overnight by Libyan Coast Guard,’’ the UNHCR tweeted.

“Our teams were at the disembarkation point to provide urgent medical aid and humanitarian assistance to all survivors,’’ said the UN agency.

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Due to insecurity and chaos in the North African nation following the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, choose to cross the Mediterranean from Libya towards Europe.

The UNHCR added that 21 refugees were resettled this week from Libya to Canada with the support from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

According to the IOM, more than 2,000 illegal migrants have been rescued off Libyan coast so far in 2021.

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