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Guards stop over hundred migrants before heading to Europe

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Libyan authorities arrested 124 persons, including 8 women, near Tripoli, Thursday, before taking boats to European coasts, according to an official in the Libyan Coast Guard.

“We arrested 124 migrant including 8 women in a complex in Al-Garabolli area (60 km East Tripoli) while preparing to take a boat and sail to Europe”, the official told AFP.

The official elaborated “we received information about their whereabouts and preparations, so we reached there and stopped them”, adding that, “migrants, who come from Africa, will be moved to a shelter in Tripoli”.

Libya is witnessing security chaos, and an armed conflict that exacerbated illegal migration, through its coasts that lacks actual supervision, given the limited capabilities of coast guard forces, and authorities’ preoccupation with the on-going conflict since a year.

According to the International Organization for Migration, IOM, more than 400 thousand persons passed the Mediterranean Sea, since last January, and more than 2700 died or were missed in the process.

Over 400 thousand have reached South European shores, according to IOM. Two weeks ago, a boat capsized with 400 migrants near Zuwara, West Tripoli, and about 120 bodies were recovered, while 200 persons were saved.