Six migrants dead, dozens rescued off Libya coast: UN

WION Web Team
Tripoli, Libya Updated: Jun 27, 2020, 05:18 PM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( AFP )

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The survivors were brought back overnight to the port city of Khoms, 120 kilometres west of the capital Tripoli, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said on Twitter.

Six migrants died along the way, and 93 others were rescued off Libyan shores -- including a woman who gave birth at sea -- as they tried to reach Europe, the UN's migration agency said Saturday.

The survivors were brought back overnight to the port city of Khoms, 120 kilometres west of the capital Tripoli, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said on Twitter.

Libya was thrown into chaos after the overthrow and killing of veteran dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011. Traffickers have since exploited the unrest to turn the North African country into a key route for illicit migration towards Europe.

The situation of refugees and asylum seekers in Libya worsened after eastern Libya-based military strongman Khalifa Haftar launched an assault on Tripoli in 2019 and the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Human rights groups have repeatedly criticised the systematic return of migrants intercepted in the Mediterranean to Libya, where they are held in crowded detention centres.

The IOM said those rescued overnight were released after disembarking in Khoms.

The latest operation came just days after French charity boat Ocean Viking, picked up dozens of migrants, including 31 Pakistanis, off the Italian island of Lampedusa after they had drifted from Libya.

More than 100,000 migrants tried to cross the Mediterranean last year with more than 1,200 dying in the attempt, according to the IOM.

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