The Libyan Coast Guard intercepts 57 migrants linked to Europe


A member of the Libyan Coast Guard uses binoculars while searching for migrants off the coast of Tripoli, Libya, on 9 August 2017. (Reuters)

The Libyan coastguard declared that it had intercepted 57 migrants bound for Europe off the Mediterranean coast of the country.

Spokesman Ayoub Gassim revealed that a wooden boat carrying 53 Ethiopian migrants, including 17 women and nine children, and four Egyptian migrants was stopped on Saturday off the coastal city of Zawiya.

The city is located about 48 kilometers, or 30 miles, west of the capital, Tripoli.

He reported that the migrants received humanitarian and medical assistance before being taken to a detention center in Zawiya, according to The Associated Press.

The Libyan coastguard said it had intercepted 577 migrants at sea so far in August.

Libya has fallen into chaos after the 2011 uprising that overthrew the longtime ruler Moammar al-Gaddafi.

It has emerged as an important transit point for migrants fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East towards Europe.

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