Libya coast guard intercepts, detains about 400 migrants: UN
Safa Msehli, a spokeswoman for the International Organisation for Migration said the migrants were taken to the al-Nasser detention center in the town of Zawya, west of Tripoli, she said.
Mselhi said departures from Libya have increased, which is "especially worrying amid a sharp decrease in... search and rescue capacity".
Libya, which descended into chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi, has emerged as a major transit point for African and Arab migrants fleeing war and poverty to Europe.
Most migrants make the perilous journey in ill-equipped and unsafe rubber boats.
The IOM said last month that its estimated death toll among migrants who have tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea since 2014 has surpassed 20,000.
Read more: EU states are using coronavirus to justify abandoning migrants at sea
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, major maritime rescue charities, such as Ocean Viking and Sea-Watch, have suspended migrant rescue operations. Also, travel disruptions have forced the UN refugee and migration agencies to halt their resettlement flights for the most vulnerable people.
In recent years, the European Union has partnered with the coast guard and other Libyan forces to stop the flow of migrants. Rights groups say those efforts have left migrants at the mercy of brutal armed groups or confined in squalid and overcrowded detention centers that lack adequate food and water.
The EU agreed earlier this year to end an anti-migrant smuggler operation involving only surveillance aircraft and instead deploy military ships to concentrate on upholding a widely flouted UN arms embargo that's considered key to winding down Libya's relentless war.
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