The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that 131 migrants were rescued and returned to Libya in the past week.
“In the period of 29 Jan-4 Feb 2023, 131 migrants were intercepted and returned to Libya,” IOM said in a statement.
The rescued migrants included 23 women and 10 children, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.
So far this year, a total of 1,565 migrants were rescued and returned to Libya, IOM said.
In 2022, a total of 24,684 migrants were rescued and returned to Libya, the IOM revealed, adding 529 migrants died and 848 others went missing off the Libyan coast on the Central Mediterranean route.
Because of the insecurity and chaos in the country since the fall of late dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, many migrants, mostly Africans, chose to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores from Libya.
Rescued migrants usually end up inside overcrowded reception centres across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close those facilities and release the migrants.