Tripoli, 28 February 2014:
The Libyan Coastguard rescued 107 migrants, including 20 women and a baby, some 20 miles off the coast . . .[restrict]of Tripoli last night.
Prior to the rescue, seven people in the boat died after being thrown into the sea, according to Libyan news agency LANA. Navy Chief of Staff spokesman, Ayoub Omar Qasim said those rescued, who had been trying to get to Europe, were taken to holding centres in Tripoli, from where they would be deported to their home countries.
The Coastguard has staged a number of successful rescue operations of stranded migrant boats this year. In December, it picked up 195 migrants on two vessels found during routine patrols.
Members of the Coastguard have been receiving ongoing training from the EU Border Assistance Mission to Libya (EUBAM Libya), including safety at sea training, to boost the force’s ability to perform rescue operations at sea.
Yesterday, Malta’s Home Affairs Minister, Manuel Mallia, said that EU assistance to the Libyan Coastguard was one of the best ways to control the influx of migrants trying to reach European shores. [/restrict]