Libya: Somali Migrants Held Captive in Libya Rescued

Tripoli — At least 107 migrants, including women and children, have been released from a town in southeastern Libya, according to a spokesman for the Libyan army.

Walid Alorafi, the spokesman for the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Benghazi, said that the migrants were held for seven months as they tried to go to Europe.

The migrants came from different countries in sub-Saharan Africa, but most of them came from Somalia according to Alorafi.

"Last night we attacked a place where they were hiding in the center of Kufra city, and we found illegal migrants including women, children, and old men, some of whom showed signs of torture and gunshots," said Alorafi.

The migrants were all handed over to the IOM's illegal migration agency.

The CID released videos showing their forces destroying the house where the migrants were staying. Among the other videos, shots were fired at migrants whose bodies show signs of torture.

Some of the migrants were seen being taken away in an ambulance with aid workers. The health condition of some migrants is very poor, according to Alorafi.

Kufra is approximately 1,712 kilometers (1,064 miles) from the capital Tripoli.

Libya has become a gateway for migrants fleeing conflict and poverty to Europe via the dangerous desert-Mediterranean route after the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi by a NATO-backed uprising.

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