TRIPOLI, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Friday that 135 Nigerian illegal immigrants had been voluntarily deported from Libya to their home country.
The 135 Nigerien migrants arrived in Niamey, capital of Nigeria, on Thursday "by charter flight with support from IOM Libya," IOM tweeted.
"IOM staff on the ground assisted them with registration, medical assistance and onward transportation," it added.
The deportation is part of IOM's Voluntary Humanitarian Return program, which arranges the return of illegal immigrants stranded in Libya to their countries of origin.
According to the IOM, there are more than 650,000 illegal immigrants in Libya, including about 6,000 being held in detention centers.
Thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, choose to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward Europe from Libya because of the insecurity and chaos in the North African country since the 2011 uprising that toppled the late leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime.