86 undocumented migrants held off Libyan coast

86 undocumented migrants held off Libyan coast

Since 2011, Libya’s northwestern coast has become hub for illegal migration to Europe

By Zeynep Tufekci and Velid Abdullah

TRIPOLI, Libya (AA) - More than 80 undocumented migrants were held in the outskirts of northwestern Tripoli, according to a spokesman for the Libyan Navy.

Ayoub Qassim said in a statement that a plastic boat with 86 undocumented migrants was found during an operation at the outskirts of Abu Kammash borough.

Qassim said that the undocumented migrants, amongst them nine children and 15 women were transferred to an Asylum Center in Tripoli's Tajura district.

According to the Libyan Navy 16,000 undocumented migrants were rescued in 2017.

Ever since the collapse of the central authority in Libya in 2011, the country’s northwestern coast has become a hub for illegal migration to Italy and other countries in Europe.

Libya represents a major transit point for African migrants seeking access to Europe, especially Italy.

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