98 refugees resettled from Libya to Italy

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TRIPOLI, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- A total of 98 refugees have been resettled from Libya to Italy by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Italy and Libya, according to the Italian embassy in Libya on Friday.

"Italy welcomed 98 vulnerable refugees who traveled in safe conditions directly from Libya to Rome for a direct resettlement, thanks to a new humanitarian corridor organized by Italy, Libya and UNHCR Libya," the Italian embassy tweeted.

According to UNHCR, the refugees are of different African nationalities, including 52 unattended children.

"Today we have taken 98 people to safety, but this is still only a small number of the thousands who need such help. There are still some 3,600 refugees in detention centers. We urgently need to find solutions for them, as well as thousands more vulnerable refugees living in urban areas," said Jean-Paul Cavalieri, UNHCR chief of mission for Libya.

Libya has become a preferred departure point for illegal immigrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe because of insecurity and chaos in the North African country following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Migrant shelters in Libya are crowded with thousands rescued at sea or arrested by the Libyan security services. Enditem

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