(MENAFN- IANS) Tripoli, April 26 (IANS) The Libyan Coast Guard has rescued 61 illegal migrants and recovered 11 bodies off the coast of Garrabulli, some 55 km east of the capital Tripoli.
"We recovered 11 bodies, including a child. The total number of illegal migrants rescued today is 61 of different African, Asian and Arab nationalities," Esa al-Zarrug, a Coast Guard officer, told Xinhua news agency late Tuesday.
A total of 4,335 illegal migrants have been rescued or intercepted by the Libyan authorities so far this year.
Meanwhile, 310 illegal migrants have died and 227 others have gone missing on the central Mediterranean route off the Libyan coast, according to the International Organization for Migration.
Migrants and asylum seekers use the Central Mediterranean route to enter the EU on an irregular basis.
They embark on long, dangerous journeys from North Africa and Turkey, crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Italy, and to a much lesser extent also Malta.
The large majority of the migrants transit through Libya on their journey towards Europe.
This has contributed to the development of well-established and resilient smuggling and trafficking networks in Libya.
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