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UN says Libya recovered some 100 bodies of migrants in 2018

August 6, 2018
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FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2018 file photo, Sub-Saharan refugees and migrants from different nationalities trying to leave the Libyan coast and reach European soil aboard an overcrowded rubber boat are rescued by a team of aid workers from the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, 28 miles north of Al Khums, Libya. The U.N. refugee agency says Libya's coast guard has recovered some 100 bodies of Europe-bound migrants off its coast in 2018. A UNHCR statement late on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018, said that as of July 31, the Libyan coast guard had also intercepted or rescued 12,633 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea near its shores, bound for Europe. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios, File)

CAIRO (AP) — The U.N. refugee agency says Libya’s coast guard has recovered some 100 bodies of Europe-bound migrants off its coast in 2018.

A statement from UNHCR late on Sunday also said that as of July 31, the Libyan coast guard had also intercepted or rescued 12,633 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, near its shores.

Libya has emerged as a major transit point to Europe for people fleeing poverty and civil war elsewhere in Africa. Human traffickers have exploited Libya’s chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi.

Libyan authorities have stepped up efforts to stem the flow of migrants, with assistance from European countries eager to slow the influx.

European far-right-wing parties have also seized upon the issue of the migrant crisis to gain electoral support.

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