Tags

, , , ,

Just last week, hundreds of migrants were also rescued off the Libyan coast.

The North African country was thrown into chaos and economic ruin after Muammar Gaddafi was violently overthrown by a U.S.-led campaign in 2011.

More than 200 migrants were rescued off the Libyan coast Sunday by the Spanish navy, when two dinghies went adrift, leaving two people dead.

RELATED: 
Over 2,000 Migrants and Refugees Rescued in Mediterranean

The Spanish Defence Ministry said Monday that the migrants were then transferred to a Swedish ship and taken to Italy.

Half a million people have crossed the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy over the past four years, mainly sub-Saharan Africans who pay smugglers to shepherd them across the desert to Libya and onward to Europe in unseaworthy rafts.

In just the last four years, half a million people have crossed the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 13,000 people, many who have drowned. The year 2016 was the deadliest year on record for refugees attempting to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe, with more than 3,800 people perishing during the dangerous trip.

Migrant arrivals by sea to Italy are up about a third this year to roughly 60,000, and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees has recorded more than 1,700 dead or missing. More than 50 bodies have been brought to Italy in late May, the agency said.

Libya is one of the major exit points for people trying to reach Europe. And as migrants try to make their way, fleeing the violence and poverty in the region, many with no money and documentation fall prey to human traffickers and end up being smuggled to these slave centers.

The North African country was thrown into political chaos and economic ruin after Muammar Gaddafi was violently overthrown by a U.S.-led campaign in 2011.