TRIPOLI, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 1,600 illegal migrants were rescued off the Libyan coast and returned to Libya, the International Organization for Migration said Monday.
"In the period of 13-19 June, 1,594 migrants were rescued/intercepted at sea and returned to Libya," the organization said.
In 2021, 14,388 illegal migrants, including women and children, have been rescued, while 194 died and 492 went missing off the Libyan coast on the Central Mediterranean route, according to the organization.
Libya has been suffering insecurity and chaos since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making the North African country a preferred point of departure for illegal migrants who want to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores.
Rescued migrants end up inside overcrowded reception centers across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close those centers.