Tripoli: The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has said that more than 600 illegal immigrants were rescued off the Libyan coast and returned to Libya in the past week.
According to the IOM on Monday, 604 migrants were rescued or intercepted at sea and returned to Libya between January 16 and 22.
The United Nations agency reported that 12 illegal immigrants died and 16 others went missing off the coast of Libya on the Central Mediterranean route in the past week, Xinhua news agency reported.
In 2021, a total of 32,425 illegal immigrants were rescued and returned to Libya, while 662 died and 891 others went missing off the Libyan coast on the Central Mediterranean route, the agency revealed.
Since the fall of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the North African country has become a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants seeking to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores.