More than 1,000 illegal migrants rescued off Libyan coast: IOM

More than 1,000 illegal migrants were rescued off the Libyan coast during the past week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Monday.

In the period of May 9-15, “1,074 migrants were rescued/intercepted at sea and returned to Libya,” the IOM said.

Meanwhile, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said that the Libyan Coast Guard had rescued nearly 350 illegal migrants off Libya’s western coast on Monday.

According to the IOM, a total of 8,170 illegal migrants, including women and children, were rescued off the Libyan coast so far this year.

The IOM also revealed that so far in 2021, 168 illegal migrants had died and 389 others went missing off the Libyan coast on the Central Mediterranean route.

Libya has been suffering insecurity and chaos since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making the North African nation a preferred point of departure for illegal migrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean Sea towards European shores.

Rescued migrants end up inside overcrowded reception centers across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close those centers.