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Sudanese police rescue over 50 Libya-bound migrants held hostage by gunmen

Sudanese police rescue over 50 Libya-bound migrants held hostage by gunmen

Sudan

56 people including women and children have been rescued from a Sudanese trafficking gang on Sunday after over a month in captivity on the border between Kassala and El Gedaref states.

El Gedaref police chief, Major General Adil Jamal told local media that the hostages, believed to be migrants from neighbouring countries, were held by gunmen in an abandoned house before their rescue by the police, local online portal Dabanga reported on Monday.

“The gang demanded a ransom of $3,000 per person for their release,” the report added.

Sudan borders Libya in the northwest. Illegal migrants transit through Sudan via the Western Sahara to troubled Libya in an attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

The gang demanded a ransom of $3,000 per person for their release.

On Sunday, the Sudanese army announced the arrest of over 200 illegal migrants of different nationalities trying to enter Libya.

They were transported by the police to the capital Khartoum where they were handed over to their embassies, local news portal Sudan Tribune reported.

In early April, the United Nations migration agency International Organisation for Migration (IOM) documented reports of slave markets and kidnapping rings on migrant routes in Libya run by traffickers to buy and sell West African migrants.

Migrant numbers from Libya to Italy have soared dramatically in 2017 with more than 550 deaths recorded in the Mediterranean this year.

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