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Libyan coast guard intercepts 61 Europe-bound migrants

May 18, 2019

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

Spokesman Ayoub Gassim says Saturday that a rubber boat carrying 61 African and Arab migrants, including a child, was intercepted Thursday off the city of Zawiya, 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of the capital, Tripoli.

He says the migrants were given humanitarian and medical aid and then taken to a refugee camp in Tripoli.

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

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

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