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Malta trains Libya navy to counter migration

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A Maltese navy platoon arrived in Libya on Monday to help train the navy to patrol its border, an army spokesman told AFP, following a recent increase in boat crossings by migrants from Libya.

The spokesman said the group was made up of 46 officers from the Maritime Squadron and from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit.

The training will include joint diving activities, ship boarding drills and patrol and search operations.

Most of the 1,700 migrants who have landed in Malta so far this summer said they left from Libya.

Thousands more have arrived on the nearby Italian island of Lampedusa.

“The training exercise will focus on patrolling the Libyan border because this is where most of the illegal migration problems begin, resulting in an influx of migrants into Malta and Lampedusa,” a military source said on condition of anonymity.

This is the first bilateral training mission since the Libyan uprising last year.