TRIPOLI: More than 8,000 illegal immigrants have been repatriated from Libya this year, China’s Xinhua news agency reported the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) as saying on Monday.
“8,438 stranded migrants have so far in 2017 received voluntary humanitarian return assistance home from Libya.” IOM said, told Bernama.
Some 138 repatriation trips for immigrants took off from Libya within the voluntary return program carried out by IOM to arrange the return of stranded migrants in Libya.
The deported migrants include 6,850 men and 1,588 women, IOM said.
The Libyan Anti-IS Operation Chamber of the western city Sabratha on Sunday said that more than 7,000 immigrants have been deported.
Sabratha, some 70 km west the capital Tripoli, is one of the largest smuggling hotspots in Libya and Africa, according to international reports.
Smugglers take advantage of the state of insecurity and chaos in Libya to send thousands of migrants in rickety boats crossing the Mediterranean to European shores.
Libya is a departure point for African migrants, especially from Chad, Niger, Mali and Sudan, to reach the southern shores of Europe through the Mediterranean.