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162 rescued migrants off Libya arrive in Italy (organization)

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — About 162 rescued migrants landed off the coast of Libya at the Italian port of Taranto, according to the non-governmental organization SOS Mediterranee Tuesday.

According to the organization, the migrants, including 50 minors and five pregnant women, were rescued “by the rescue and research team of SOS Mediterranee” in two major rescue operations in international waters off the coast of Libya on Friday, 20 December.

It reported that in the first operation, 112 people who were “terrified” on a rubber boat that was about to sink were rescued.

It added that 50 others had been recovered from a wooden boat shortly before midnight “under dangerous weather and marine conditions.”

Due to bad weather conditions, they could not be transferred to Malta.

The organization stated that the Italian authorities authorized all the rescued migrants to disembark in Taranto as part of an operation that took place on Monday.

She described the rescue operations as “very difficult”.

“The weather conditions have deteriorated dramatically and rapidly,” said the organization’s search and rescue coordinator for the ship, “Ocean Viking”.

In October, Italy renewed an agreement concluded in 2017 that was widely condemned with the Libyan coast guard to prevent migrants from going to Europe.

Human rights organizations note that Libya often returns migrants on average to overcrowded detention centers, where many have been subjected to violations and forced into forced labor.

Libya, which has been mired in an ongoing conflict since the 2011 uprising against its president Muammar Gaddafi, has become a major transit point for migrants from sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere seeking to reach Europe.

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