TRIPOLI, May 16 (Xinhua) -- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Monday that almost 1,000 illegal immigrants were returned to Libya after being rescued off the country's coast last week.
Between May 8 and May 14, 996 migrants were intercepted at sea and returned to Libya, IOM said in a statement.
So far this year, a total of 5,711 illegal immigrants have been rescued and returned to Libya, including 493 women and 261 minors, it added.
IOM also said 114 illegal immigrants died and 438 others went missing on the Central Mediterranean route in 2022.
In 2021, a total of 32,425 illegal immigrants were rescued and returned to Libya, while 662 died and 891 went missing off the Libyan coast on the Central Mediterranean route, IOM revealed.
Libya has been suffering insecurity and chaos ever since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making the North African country a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants who want to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores. ■