Tripoli, May 4 (IANS) A total of 818 illegal migrants have been rescued off the coast of Libya in the past one week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.
From April 25 to May 1, "818 migrants were rescued/intercepted at sea and returned to Libya," the Organization said in a statement on Monday.
It added that 6,992 illegal migrants have been rescued and returned to Libya so far this year, including 545 women and 335 minors, reports Xinhua news agency.
Additionally, 139 illegal migrants died and 349 others went missing on the Central Mediterranean route so far in 2021, the IOM said.
In 2020, 11,891 illegal migrants were rescued and returned to Libya, while 381 illegal migrants died and 597 others went missing on the Central Mediterranean route, the Organization added.
Due to years of instability and unrest, Libya has become a preferred point of departure for migrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.