AA / Tripoli
The Libyan authorities announced on Thursday the arrest of 300 illegal immigrants in the west of the country.
This is according to a statement made to Anadolu Agency by Achraf Issa, commander of the Western Region Security Directions Support Force, affiliated with the Libyan Interior Ministry.
Issa said: “300 illegal immigrants were arrested and sent back to the accommodation center in the capital Tripoli, based on a decision by the prosecutor’s office.”
He explained that this “is part of a plan drawn up over the past three months, by the management support force to control illegal immigration and combat this phenomenon”.
“Since then, more than 3,000 illegal immigrants have been arrested, several hideouts have been raided and more than 20 boats, used by smugglers, have been confiscated,” added the Libyan commander.
Earlier in the day on Thursday, the Libyan navy announced in a press release that 146 illegal migrants had been rescued at sea while en route to European shores.
Libya is considered a major departure point for illegal migrants, fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East, and wishing to reach Europe. Several migrants do not make the crossing and end up drowned on the high seas, because of the dilapidated state of the boats.
* Translated from Arabic by Mounir Bennour.
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