126 illegal immigrants rescued off Libyan coast: UNHCR

Tripoli, Dec 18 : The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that 126 illegal immigrants were rescued off the coast of Libya.

Up to “126 persons among them eight women and 28 children were returned to Libya this morning after their boat was intercepted/rescued at sea”, Xinhua news agency quoted the UNHCR as saying in a Twitter post on Thursday.

“UNHCR partner IRC (the International Rescue Committee) was present at the disembarkation point and provided water, blankets and medical assistance. They were all sent to detention,” the UN agency added.

Thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, chose to cross the Mediterranean from Libya towards Europe, due to the state of insecurity and chaos in the North African nation following the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

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Immigrant shelters in Libya are crowded with thousands of immigrants either rescued from the sea or arrested by the Libyan security forces, despite international calls to close those centres.

According to the UNHCR, there are currently 44,725 registered refugees and asylum-seekers in Libya.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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