The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said Wednesday that more than 300 illegal immigrants have been rescued and returned to Libya.
A total of “307 people returned to Tripoli last night, in two separate operations undertaken by the Libyan navy,” the UNHCR wrote on Twitter.
“Among them were 22 women and 11 children. “UNHCR and the IRC (International Rescue Committee) partner participated in both landings and provided medical assistance and relief items to the survivors,” he said.
Libya has suffered from instability and chaos since the ouster of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making the North African country a preferred starting point for illegal immigrants seeking to cross the Mediterranean to European shores.
So far this year, a total of 29,427 illegal immigrants have been rescued, while 490 have died and 736 have disappeared off the coast of Libya on the Central Mediterranean Road, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The rescued migrants were detained at overcrowded reception centers across Libya, despite repeated international calls for their closure.
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