At least 194 asylum seekers en route to Europe were returned by the Libyan coast guard to Tripoli, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Thursday. 

The asylum seekers included women and children, according to IOM, who noted that “staff were at the disembarkation point to provide needed assistance including medical screenings.”

No further details were provided regarding the nationality or health status of the asylum seekers.

IOM said around 4,000 irregular migrants have been returned to Libya in 2020.

Libya is a major transit point for asylum seekers heading to Europe away from war and poor living conditions in Africa and the Middle East.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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