Over 20,000 illegal migrants rescued off Libyan coast since start of 2022

TRIPOLI, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Monday said a total of 20,842 were rescued and returned to Libya so far in 2022.

The rescued migrants include 19,075 men, 1,089 women and 678 children, IOM said.

Also, 514 migrants died and 865 others went missing off the Libyan coast on the Central Mediterranean route, IOM added.

In 2021, a total of 32,425 illegal migrants were rescued and returned to Libya.

Libya has been suffering insecurity and chaos since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making the North African country a preferred point of departure for illegal migrants who want to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores.

Rescued migrants end up inside overcrowded reception centers across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close those centers.

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