Libya coast guard intercepts 156 migrants – Navy

Libyan coast guard intercepts 156 migrants - Navy

Libya’s Navy on Thursday said that the country’s coast guard intercepted 156 migrants on a rubber boat.

Navy Spokesman Ayoub Qasim said the migrants were intercepted off the coast east of Tripoli, the latest operation amid a surge in such perilous journeys to Europe.

The migrants were stopped on Wednesday off the coast of Khoms, Qasim said in a statement.

Ten children are among the intercepted migrants, who are natives of Sudan, Mali, Ghana, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger and Cameron, the navy said, adding that they were handed over to the anti-illegal immigration authorities.

The rescue operation comes two days after a Spanish NGO accused the Libyan coast guard of leaving two women and a child to die at sea after a rescue operation that involved 158 migrants.

The three migrants were found floating near a wrecked dinghy, only one of whom was alive, the Proactiva Open Arms charity said.

Libya descended into chaos in 2011 after its leader Moamer Gaddafi was toppled in an armed revolt and has since become a major transit route for migrants trying to reach Europe by sea. 

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