1,425 migrants intercepted by Libyan authorities

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Libya has intercepted and turned back about 1,425 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea over the past two days, Reuters reports a naval spokesman to say.

Ayoub Qassem said about 1,050 migrants on seven inflatable boats were turned back early on Wednesday.

Most of those were from sub-Saharan African countries, and about one-third were women and children.

Two more rubber boats were intercepted on Thursday with about 300 people on board, as well as three small wooden boats carrying a total of about 75 people.

All the boats were intercepted near the western coastal city of Sabratha, the most used point of departure for migrants attempting to make the perilous journey from Libya across the Mediterranean.

According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 120,000 migrants have arrived in Italy by boat so far this year, a slight increase over the 2015 numbers.

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