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More than 600,000 illegal immigrants currently in Libya: IOM

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-10-07 09:53

Immigrants sit along the border wall as they await apprehension after illegally crossing into the US from Mexico on Aug 29, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

TRIPOLI - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Saturday that more than 600,000 illegal immigrants of 41 different nationalities are currently in Libya.

"In July and August 2018, IOM identified at least 669,176 migrants currently in Libya. Migrants were identified in 100 municipalities, within 554 communities and originated from more than 41 countries," IOM said.

"The top 5 nationalities identified are from: Niger, Egypt, Chad, Sudan and Nigeria," the Organization added.

Migrant shelters in Libya are crowded with thousands of migrants who have been rescued at sea or arrested by the Libyan security services.

A voluntary return program is carried out by the organization in Libya in cooperation with local authorities, aiming to arrange for the return of illegal migrants stranded in Libya to their countries of origin.

Libya has become a preferred departure point for illegal migrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe due to insecurity and chaos in the North African country following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

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