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302 illegal migrants rescued off Libyan coast: UN refugee agency

 
Tripoli, Nov 20 (IANS) A total of 302 illegal migrants have been rescued at sea and returned to Libya, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said.

The UN agency tweeted on Friday: "302 persons were intercepted/rescued at sea last night in three operations and were disembarked in Tripoli and in Zawiya."

Among them were 50 women and 22 children, it said, adding the UNHCR and the International Red Cross have provided medical aid and relief items to all survivors, Xinhua news agency reported.

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

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

--IANS
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