Libya Intercepts Vessel With 700 Europe-Bound Migrants

Authorities in Libya have intercepted a vessel carrying at least 700 migrants off the eastern coast of Libya.

Coast guards say it was one of the largest interceptions in recent months of migrants seeking greener pastures in Europe through the North African country.

The boat was stopped on Friday off the Mediterranean town of Moura, 90 kilometres west of the eastern city of Benghazi.

It added that the migrants hail from different nations and that those who illegally entered Libya would be handed over to their home countries.

In what was one of the largest interceptions in recent months of migrants sailing to Europe, images of the overcrowded vessel showed that most people on board were young.

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Europe is one of the most preferred destination for thousands fleeing conflict and economic crunch in the Middle East and Africa.

In Augustast year, Italian military vessels aided a boat launched from Libyan shores to the southern island of Lampedusa.

It had 539 migrants crammed into it. Libya has in recent years emerged as the dominant transit point for migrants seeking a better quality of life in Europe.

The oil-rich country plunged into chaos following a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed Colonel Muammar Gadhafi in 2011.


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