Libyan Coast Guard Intercepts Boat Migrants Heading to Europe

A Libyan coastguard looks towards a ship as he patrols the area at sea between Sabratha and Zawiyah on July 28, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / TAHA JAWASHI (Photo credit should read TAHA JAWASHI/AFP/Getty Images)
TAHA JAWASHI/AFP/Getty Images

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Libya’s coast guard says it has intercepted some two dozen Europe-bound migrants off the country’s Mediterranean coast.

Spokesman Ayoub Gassim said Saturday that a wooden boat carrying at least 22 African migrants, all of them men, was intercepted Friday north of the Bouri offshore oil field, around 105 kilometers (65 miles) from Tripoli.

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

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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