42 illegal migrants rescued off Libyan coast: UN refugee agency

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TRIPOLI, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said Wednesday that they have rescued 42 illegal migrants off Libya's western coast, including women and children.

The UN agency tweeted, "42 asylum-seekers and migrants were returned to Tripoli last night, among them 4 children and 8 women, of whom 2 were pregnant."

It said the majority were from Nigeria, Sudan, Yemen and Egypt, and they were provided with assistance and medical aid.

So far in 2021, more than 24,420 illegal migrants, including women and children, have been rescued, while hundreds of others died and went missing off the Libyan coast on the Central Mediterranean route, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Libya has been suffering insecurity and chaos since the fall of the late 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 usually end up inside overcrowded reception centers across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close those centers. Enditem

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