Libya arrests 600 Europe-bound illegal migrants

2015-05-23 21:57
Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa receive water as they wait at a detention centre in the Libya’s capital Tripoli. (Mahmud Turkia, AFP)

Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa receive water as they wait at a detention centre in the Libya’s capital Tripoli. (Mahmud Turkia, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tripoli - Libyan authorities on Saturday arrested about 600 illegal migrants from African countries who were planning to sail to Europe, a coastguard official said.

The migrants were rounded up during a huge crackdown in the Tripoli region during which telecommunications equipment was also seized, the official told AFP.

Hundreds of those who had been rounded up were seen sitting on the ground outside a detention centre in Tripoli, as authorities distributed food and drink.

Libya has a coastline of 1 770km and has long been a stepping stone for Africans seeking a better life in Europe.

Most head for the Italian island of Lampedusa which lies some 300km from Libyan shores.

Lucrative trade

People smugglers, who have operated in Libya for years, have increased their lucrative trade, feeding on the political divisions and lawlessness that has gripped the country since the end of the 2011 uprising.

Libya now has two governments and parliaments vying for power and armed militias battling for its oil wealth.

The Tripoli government, which is not recognised by the international community, has stepped up arrests of illegal migrants in recent weeks.

Last Sunday, officials linked to the Tripoli government announced the arrest of 400 illegal migrants on the same day of the launch of an operation targeting people smugglers.

Read more on:    libya  |  migrants  |  north africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.