Tripoli [Libya], October 5 (ANI/Xinhua): The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Monday said that 538 illegal migrants were rescued off the Libyan coast and returned to Libya in the past week.
From September 26 to October 2, "538 migrants were rescued/intercepted at sea and returned to Libya," IOM said.
So far this year, a total of 25,823 illegal migrants, including women and children, have been rescued, while 450 died and 660 went missing off the Libyan coast on the Central Mediterranean route, according to IOM.
In 2020, a total of 11,891 illegal migrants were rescued and returned to Libya, while 381 others died and 597 went missing off the Central Mediterranean route, IOM added.
Libya has been suffering insecurity and chaos since the fall of its leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making the North African country a preferred point of departure for illegal migrants who want to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores.
Rescued migrants end up in overcrowded reception centers across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close those centers. (ANI/Xinhua)