521 illegal migrants rescued off Libyan coast in past week, says IOM

IOM. Representative Image courtesy: IOM/2020

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IBNS-CMEDIA: The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported on Monday that 521 illegal migrants had been rescued off the coast of Libya over the past week.

Between March 3 and March 9, 521 migrants were intercepted and subsequently returned to Libya, the IOM said in a statement, adding among those rescued were 16 women and 28 children. It said that the bodies of two illegal migrants were also retrieved off the Libyan coast.

So far this year, a total of 1,915 illegal migrants have been rescued, while 80 illegal migrants died and 126 others went missing off the Libyan coast.

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