345 illegal migrants rescued off Libyan coast: UN refugee agency

2021-09-16 01:31:00 GMT2021-09-16 09:31:00(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

TRIPOLI, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Wednesday said that 345 illegal migrants were rescued and returned to Libya in two separate operations.

The UN refugee agency tweeted, "32 persons were disembarked today at Azzawiya Refinery point (western Libya) and 313 others were returned to Tripoli last night after being rescued/intercepted at sea."

"UNHCR & IRC were present during both disembarkations to provide urgent medical aid and humanitarian assistance to all survivors," it said.

Libya has been suffering insecurity and chaos since the fall of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making the North African country a preferred point of departure for illegal migrants seeking to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores.

So far this year, 23,601 illegal migrants have been rescued, while hundreds of others have died and gone missing off the Libyan coast on the Central Mediterranean route, according to the International Organization for Migration. Enditem