Libya’s security forces on Thursday arrested 441 African nationals planning to illegally immigrate to Europe, according to Tripoli security sources.
Murad Hamza, spokesman for Tripoli’s central security force, said that their fighters were informed by local citizens on the whereabouts of potential illegal immigrants in the city and arrested them.
The batch of illegal immigrants are now held in a detention center. Most of them are from sub-Saharan states.
Four years following the civil war which toppled the country’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya descended into anarchy leaving a power vacuum in most of its territories, encouraging migrants to venture by sea via the North African country.
It has long been a transit point for migrants seeking to reach Malta, Italy, and other European countries due to its proximity and lackadaisical border control.
According to a UN report, over 110,000 migrants crossed through Libya in 2014 en route to Europe.