The trawler was packed. Nearly 650 immigrants who were trying to reach the European coasts were intercepted by the coast guard off the city of Benghazi, the naval staff of eastern Libya announced on its Facebook page on Saturday.
“Navy special forces boats intercepted a trawler with nearly 650 illegal migrants on board,” he said in a statement. The boat was towed and taken to a special forces naval base in the port of Benghazi, according to the same source.
According to Navy Commander Ramzi Najem, quoted in the statement, “Navy special forces were alerted to the presence of illegal migrants on board a trawler northwest of Benghazi”, carrying several hundred people , including Bangladeshis, Syrians and Egyptians.
Migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean at the risk of their lives, are the prey of unscrupulous traffickers and, when they are intercepted, are brought back to the Libyan coast and placed in detention centers regularly denounced by NGOs for ill-treatment.