TRIPOLI, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Some 400 illegal migrants were rescued and returned to Libya, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said Tuesday.
"Last night, some 400 persons were returned to Libya including 28 women and 4 children," UNHCR tweeted.
"Disembarkations took place at the Tripoli Naval Base and Azzawiya Oil Refinery. The majority were Sudanese, Eritrean and Ethiopian. UNHCR and International Rescue Committee provided urgent assistance to all survivors," it said.
Libya has been suffering insecurity and chaos since the fall of its 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.
So far in 2021, more than 22,000 illegal migrants, including women and children, have been rescued, while hundreds of others died and went missing off the Libyan coast on the Central Mediterranean route, according to the International Organization for Migration.
Rescued migrants end up inside overcrowded reception centers across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close those centers. Enditem