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Libya coastguard stops 600 migrants crossing to Europe

Migrants, who were rescued by the Libyan coastguard in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast, receive food and blankets on December 21, 2015The Libyan coastguard on Sunday stopped three boats carrying 600 migrants including pregnant women trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, an official said. The coastguard “intercepted three large dinghies off the coast of Sabratha” around 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Tripoli, Colonel Ayoub Qassem, a spokesman for the Tripoli government’s navy, said. The colonel rejected a statement from French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Thursday that some 800,000 migrants were in Libya hoping to cross to Europe.

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