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Europe-bound migrants intercepted off Libya

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 More than 500 migrants attempting to get to Europe were on Sunday intercepted off the Libyan coast as the country continues a massive crackdown on migrants.

The migrants were intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard while on boats believed to be heading to Europe.

Five hundred were crammed in one boat, while a second rubber boat with 50 people was intercepted after its engine failed at sea.

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The United Nations (UN) refugee agency says the majority of the people are from Bangladesh, Somalia, Sudan and Syria.

It comes just days after one person was killed and dozens injured during a police operation in an area in west Libya popular with asylum seekers and migrants.

Thousands of people have been arrested since the operation began.

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The UN has condemned what it called excessive use of force against the asylum seekers.

At least 4,000 migrants have so far been arrested in the sweeping operation mainly in the Gargaresh area of Tripoli.

The North African country, in chaos since its 2011 revolution, is one of the main departure points for migrants, mainly from sub- Saharan Africa, hoping to reach Europe.—BBC

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