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Libyan coastguards intercepted 235 people trying to reach Europe in three precarious vessels after leaving the Libyan coast in the last 24 hours, said the body’s spokesman, Colonel Ayub Kasem.
According to his account, 194 migrants were travelling aboard two rubber boats left the city of Khoms, located west of the capital, while the rest were in a wooden boat that was in international waters after leaving from the town of Zawara, one of the nuclei of the mafias that traffic with people.
Among those rescued are twenty women and two children, and all of them have been taken to detention centers after receiving first aid, he said.
The intercepted add to the 47 migrants rescued on Sunday by the humanitarian ship “Aquarius”, the only independent left in the area, when they were travelling in a rubber boat about to sink in international waters off the coast of Zawara.
The NGOs on board denounce that the European authorities only warned them when the situation was extremely critical, that they suppose that several more people disappeared at sea and that the incident demonstrates the incapacity of the Libyan coastguards.
The beaches that stretch between Tripoli and the border with Tunisia have become for the last two years the main bastion of the mafias that traffic with human beings, in spite of the presence of European patrol boats.
According to data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), more than 171,635 irregular immigrants managed to cross into Europe in 2017, while 3,116 disappeared at sea.
Data published by IOM this week brings to 21,609 the number of migrants who have successfully crossed the so-called “central route of the Mediterranean” and reach Italy and Malta this year and 1,260 of those who have died in the attempt.
Source: Agencias ABC