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Libyan coast guard says it rescued 80 Europe-bound migrants

June 5, 2019

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Libya’s coast guard says it has intercepted a boat carrying 80 Europe-bound migrants, including women and children, off the country’s Mediterranean coast.

Spokesman Ayoub Gassim said Wednesday that the rubber vessel had 80 African migrants, including six women and three children. They were intercepted Tuesday off the coast of the western town of Garaboli, 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of the capital, Tripoli.

He says the migrants were given humanitarian and medical aid and then taken to a refugee camp in the western town of Zawiya.

Libya became a major conduit for African migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe after the 2011 uprising that ousted and killed longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi.

Libyan authorities have stepped up efforts to stem the flow of migrants, with European assistance.

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