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Asharq Al-Awsat

Libyan Coast Guard Saves 500 Migrants in 9 Rescue Operations

Migrants heading to Europe are brought back to port after being intercepted in the Mediterranean Sea by the Libyan coast guard, in Gasr Garabulli, northwestern Libya, Monday, May 23 2022. (AP)

The Libyan coast guard on Tuesday rescued 500 illegal migrants in nine successful operations off the Libyan coast.

The chief of staff of the Libyan naval forces stationed in western Libya said the coastal patrols rescued 500 migrants after receiving distress signals.

The migrants were handed over to the Anti-Illegal Migration Authority to complete the procedures for their deportation to their countries.

On Sunday, the Interior Ministry of the interim government said 84 migrants from various countries were rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard off the coast of the city of Zawiya.

On Tuesday, Libya’s Coast Guard said it rescued 13 people and retrieved bodies of four migrants at sea, while three others went missing on their way towards European shores.

The rescued migrants were disembarked at the Mellitah port where they were transferred to the relevant authorities.

Meanwhile, a security force linked to the Tripoli Military District raided six human trafficker hideouts in the town of Bani Walid, west of Tripoli.

A statement by the 444th Fighting Brigade of the Libyan Army said on Monday that its forces launched a large-scale operation to crack down on outlaws and gangs in Bani Walid.

“These operations will continue with an aim to impose security, maintain stability, extend the power of the state and support its institutions,” the Brigade said.