Nearly 100 asylum-seekers evacuated from Libya to Italy

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The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has said that nearly 100 asylum-seekers were evacuated from Libya to Italy.

“The first humanitarian evacuation flight of the year brought nearly 100 vulnerable asylum-seekers out of Libya to safety in Italy,” the UNHCR said in a statement on Tuesday.

The evacuated asylum-seekers included children, women at risk, survivors of violence and people with serious medical cases, the statement said, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Some were recently released from detention while others had been held in captivity by smuggling or trafficking networks,” it added.

The UNHCR expressed gratitude for the support from Italy, while calling on other states to consider similar safe pathways for bringing vulnerable asylum-seekers out of Libya.

Many illegal migrants, mostly from Africa, choose to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores from Libya which has been suffering from a state of chaos since 2011 when former leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown.

So far this year, nearly 2,500 illegal migrants have been rescued at sea and returned to Libya, including women and children, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

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