The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said that 23 illegal immigrants have been rescued off the Libyan coast.
“Today, 23 migrants, among them two women and one child were returned to Libya by the coast guard,” IOM tweeted.
“IOM staff, who were onsite, provided emergency assistance.
“More than 7,000 migrants were returned to Libya so far this year,’’ IOM said.
The state of insecurity and chaos, from which Libya has been suffering since the downfall of former leader Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, triggered the wave of illegal immigrants, who want to cross the Mediterranean towards Europe, from the country.
Immigrant shelters in Libya have been overcrowded with migrants despite repeated international calls to close them.
Before the Libyan authorities closed the country’s borders as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, IOM had been running a Voluntary Humanitarian Return programme that arranges the return of illegal immigrants stranded in Libya to their countries of origin.