Libyan Coast Guard rescues nearly 500 people from six boats

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Libya’s coast guard said on Thursday it had rescued 493 migrants from six rubber boats in six operations a week in areas northeast and northwest of Tripoli.

The migrants include 28 women and five children from sub-Saharan Africa and Arab and Asian countries. Coastguard spokesman Ayoub Kassem said they had all been transferred to detention centers run by the UN-backed government of national reconciliation.

Libya’s west coast is a key starting point for migrants fleeing war and poverty and hoping for a new life in Europe, but the number of people trying to cross the Mediterranean has fallen sharply since July 2017.

A Sudanese immigrant died on Thursday at the Abu Sitta naval base in Tripoli after being shot by the coastguard. There was no immediate comment on the incident from the Coast Guard.

Libya plunged into chaos in the wake of a NATO-backed uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, where many armed groups and two governments are vying for power.


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