Libyan Navy boat with migrants on board arrives at navy base in Tripoli, Libya November 23, 2017 - REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny
TRIPOLI, June 22 (MENA) - Libya's coast guard said it has intercepted Europe-bound vessels carrying nearly 200 migrants, including women, off the country's Mediterranean coast, ABC News reported.
Spokesman Ayoub Gassim said Saturday that five rubber boats carrying 199 migrants were intercepted over the past several days near the capital, Tripoli.
All were Africans, except eight from Bangladesh. They were given humanitarian and medical aid, then taken to refugee camps in Tripoli.
Libya became a major conduit for African migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe after the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that ousted and killed longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi.
Libyan authorities have stepped up efforts to stem the flow of migrants, with European assistance.