7,000 illegal immigrants deported from Libya's Sabratha

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-16 02:46:05|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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TRIPOLI, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Libya's anti-IS operation chamber said Sunday that more than 7,000 illegal immigrants had been deported from the western city of Sabratha since the chamber took over the city recently.

"As part of the ongoing work of the anti-illegal immigration office in Sabratha, in cooperation with the anti-IS operation chamber, a crackdown on shelters for illegal immigrants in the city is continuing," the chamber said in a statement.

The statement pointed out that 7,428 illegal immigrants had been deported, and the deportation would continue.

Bassam al-Gharabli, head of the anti-illegal immigration office in Sabratha, said last week that "more than 3,000 illegal immigrants were found inside detention centers, preparing to cross Libya to reach Europe on boats, as the anti-IS operation chamber forces took control of the city and defeated armed groups."

Sabratha witnessed weeks of heavy fighting between the chamber and rival armed group affiliates with the city's military council, leaving hundreds of people killed or injured. The fighting ended with the chamber's forces taking control of the city and defeating the rival armed groups.

UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM) last week expressed concern about the impact of the fighting in the city on detained migrants.

The coastal city of Sabratha, some 70 km west of the capital Tripoli, is one of the largest illegal smuggling destinations in Libya and Africa, according to international reports.

Smugglers take advantage of insecurity and chaos in the country to smuggle thousands of migrants in rickety boats across the Mediterranean towards European shores, many of whom drown on the way.