Libyan coast guard rescues nearly 300 Europe-bound migrants

Libya's coast guard says it has intercepted nearly 300 Europe-bound migrants, including dozens of women and children, off the Mediterranean coast.

Spokesperson Ayoub Gassim says on Wednesday three rubber boats carrying 292 passengers, including 42 women and 10 children, were stopped on Monday off the coast of the western town of Zawiya.

He says the migrants were given humanitarian and medical aid, and were taken to a refugee camp in the town of Tajoura.

Libya has emerged as a major transit point to Europe for those fleeing poverty and civil war elsewhere in Africa. Traffickers have exploited Libya's chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled and later killed longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

Libyan authorities have stepped up efforts to stem the flow of migrants, with European assistance.

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