Libyan coast guards rescue 82 migrants off Tripoli

By Walid Abdullah

TRIPOLI (AA) – Libyan coast guards have rescued 82 undocumented migrants, including four women and two children off the country’s western shores, according to the Libyan Navy on Wednesday.

A group of migrants were located 30 miles off the city of Al-Qaraboli, it said.

The migrants were from eight separate African countries, it added.

They were transferred to a detention centre in Ain Zara, southwestern Tripoli.

One person drowned, the statement said, without any detail on the identity.

Around 785 migrants died in the Mediterranean Sea this year while trying to sail to Europe, according to the UN migration agency, IOM.

According to the Libyan Navy, 16,000 undocumented migrants were rescued in 2017.

Ever since the collapse of the central authority in Libya in 2011, the country’s northwestern coast has become a hub for illegal migration to Italy and other countries in Europe.

Libya represents a major transit point for African migrants seeking access to Europe, especially Italy.