Libyan authorities arrest 260 migrants within the country's territorial waters near the north-western city of Misrata as they attempt to cross into Europe. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
They were heading to Europe, hoping for a better life. Now more than 200 illegal migrants are being detained in Misrata, Libya, some two days after 400 others died when their boat capsized while on en route to Italy. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL MANAGER AT THE MISRATA HOLDING CENTER, SALEH ABU DABBOUS, SAYING: "We have detained illegal migrants along the Libyan coast. They were detained by the Misrata coast guard and handed over to the Misrata center to combat illegal migration. At least 260 migrants carrying different African nationalities were detained" Nearly 1,000 people have died crossing the Mediterranean from Africa this year. That's up almost 50 percent from the same period last year. Rights groups are now calling on the EU to bolster sea rescue operations before the summer, when migrant flows usually soar in what can be a perilous journey of hope.