Libyan coastguard rescues 180 migrants east of Tripoli

LIBYA’S coastguard rescued 180 migrants, including 12 children, who were on board a rubber boat in the Mediterranean, according to a navy statement released on Monday.

The navy said they were rescued on Sunday 44 miles from the coastal city of al-Khoms, east of the capital Tripoli.

The migrants, who came from Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, Nigeria and Guinea – were handed to the Illegal Immigration Control Centre in the city.

The operation comes one day after Libya’s coastguard said it rescued 152 migrants from two boats attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

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Libya has become a major transit route for migrants trying to reach Europe by sea.

It descended into chaos since the overthrow of long-time autocrat Moamer Gaddafi in a 2011 armed revolt.

Following a cooperation agreement reached between the Libyan coastguard and the EU in 2017, the number of migrants arriving in Italy via the Mediterranean has fallen sharply.

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