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IOM calls for prosecuting migrant smugglers in Libya

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-02-07 10:46

TRIPOLI - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Thursday called for prosecuting migrant smugglers and traffickers in Libya.

The inter-governmental organization related to the United Nations made the appeal following the report that 5 migrants were killed and 12 others injured in a traffic accident as they were being smuggled in the southwestern Libyan city of Sabha late Wednesday night.

"IOM is saddened by yet another incident causing loss of life and reiterates that prosecuting smugglers and traffickers should be a priority, especially amid the current security situation," IOM tweeted.

"We continue to advocate for safe, orderly and regular pathways for migrants," said IOM Libya Chief of Mission Federico Soda.

"This incident is a stark reminder of the dangerous journeys desperate people endure, many of whom are fleeing conflict and poverty," Soda said.

Thousands of immigrants, mostly Africans, attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe from Libya, which has been locked in a civil war since the ouster and killing of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

There are more than 650,000 illegal immigrants currently staying in the North African country, including about 6,000 being held in detention centers, the IOM estimated.

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