Libya: 23 Europe-bound Migrants Intercepted off Coast - The Libyan Report

Libya: 23 Europe-bound Migrants Intercepted off Coast

Libya: 23 Europe-bound Migrants Intercepted off Coast

FILE PHOTO - Migrants arrive at a naval base after being rescued by Libyan coast guards in Tripoli, Libya June 29, 2018. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

Asharq Al-Awsat

Libya's coast guard said it intercepted a vessel carrying 23 Europe-bound migrants, including two women, off the country's Mediterranean coast.

The Libyan naval media office revealed Thursday that the migrants were from Egypt, Sudan and Libya, and had been picked up the previous day 18 miles north of the coastal Mellitah oil and gas complex.

The statement posted on its official Facebook page said the migrants were given humanitarian and medical aid, then taken to a refugee camp in the northwestern city of Zawiya, the Associated Press reported.

Libya became a major conduit for African migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe after the 2011 uprising that ousted Moammar Gadhafi.

Meanwhile in other news, the death toll from a ship packed with migrants that sank off the Tunisian coast last week has risen to 72, the Tunisian Red Crescent said on Friday, according to Reuters.

The organization believes that the eventual toll could be higher than 80, which would make it one of the worst migrant boat disasters to date.

The boat capsized after setting off for Europe from neighbouring Libya. source