CAIRO: Libya’s coast guard said Monday it has intercepted boats carrying hundreds of migrants, including women and children, in the Mediterranean Sea.
It says three boats were stopped on Sunday before leaving Libyan territorial waters off the coast of western districts close to Tunisia.
The first boat was carrying 98 migrants, including nine women, and it was intercepted near the shores of Zuwara. Most on board were Arab nationals from Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco.
A second boat, stopped near Sabratha, was carrying 114 migrants. A migrant from that boat drowned and a second is missing. The third boat, with 97 migrants, was intercepted near Tripoli’s Janzour area.
On Monday, the coast guard reported it had rescued another 500 migrants, 400 near the Qura Bulla area and the rest near Sabratha.
Libya is a frequent route to Europe for migrants fleeing poverty and conflicts in Africa and the Middle East.