Libya’s coast guard intercepts 102 Europe-bound migrants

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Libya’s coast guard says it has intercepted more than 100 Europe-bound migrants off the country’s Mediterranean coast.

Thursday’s statement from spokesman Ayoub Gassim says a rubber boat with 102 African migrants, including three women and a child, was stopped on Tuesday near the capital, Tripoli.

Gassim says they were taken to a detention center in Khoms, around 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Tripoli.

Libya has emerged as a major transit point for migrants fleeing war and poverty to Europe. In recent years, the European Union has partnered with the coast guard and other Libyan forces to try to stop the dangerous sea crossings.

Rights groups, however, have criticized those efforts, saying they’ve left migrants at the mercy of armed groups or confined in squalid detention centers rife with abuses.

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