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21 Illegal Migrants Arrested in W. Libya

A group of 21 illegal migrants was arrested off the coast of Garrabulli, some 55 km east of Libya’s capital Tripoli, the Libyan government said on Thursday.

“After searches and investigations, the patrols managed to thwart an illegal immigration operation and arrested 21 illegal immigrants inside a house used for illegal immigration work in Garrabulli,” the Libyan Interior Ministry’s Special Operation Department said in a statement on Facebook.

The arrested migrants are from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, and India, the statement said.

The Libyan Coast Guard on Tuesday announced that it had rescued a total of 61 illegal migrants and recovered the bodies of 11 others, including a child, off the coast of Garrabulli.

Because of the insecurity and chaos in the country since the fall of late leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, many migrants, mostly Africans, choose to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores from Libya.

A total of 4,335 illegal migrants have been rescued or intercepted by the Libyan authorities so far this year. Meanwhile, 310 illegal migrants have died and 227 others have gone missing on the central Mediterranean route off the Libyan coast, according to the International Organization for Migration.