176 migrants rescued off Libya, 110 others turned back

This picture taken on October 1, 2019 shows rescued migrants disembarking from a Libyan coast guard ship in the town of Khoms, a town 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of the capital. (File/AFP)
Updated 13 October 2019

176 migrants rescued off Libya, 110 others turned back

  • Doctors Without Borders and SOS Mediterranee say their Ocean Viking ship rescued the migrants Sunday morning
  • Tunisia’s Interior Ministry said three coast guard boats pursued the smuggling boat after it left Friday night from the city of Sfax

ROME: Humanitarian groups on Sunday said they rescued 176 migrants on two rubber boats in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya while Tunisian authorities reported blocking a smuggling boat carrying 110 migrants from setting off for Italy.
Doctors Without Borders and SOS Mediterranee said their Ocean Viking ship rescued 74 migrants Sunday morning about 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the Libyan coast near an oilfield. The groups said six children were among those rescued. In the afternoon, the groups said they rescued 102 people aboard another rubber boat about 40 miles off the coast. They said 12 women, four of them pregnant, and nine children were on board.
Tunisia’s interior ministry said three coast guard boats pursued the smuggling boat after it left Friday night from the city of Sfax. Officers shouted through loudspeakers at the boat and passengers threw projectiles that injured two officers and broke windows.
The coast guard eventually forced the boat back toward Tunisia and rescued 25 migrants who had jumped into the sea.
Meanwhile, three small boats carrying migrants reached Italian shores on Sunday. ANSA, the Italian news agency, said two boats — one carrying 15 people, the other 11 — landed on the island of Lampedusa. The agency says a third boat with 15 Tunisians aboard landed in southern Sicily.


Lebanon extends coronavirus regulations until July 5

Updated 05 June 2020

Lebanon extends coronavirus regulations until July 5

  • This is the sixth extension since they were first implemented
  • More beneficiaries were included on the list to receive COVID-19 aid

DUBAI: The Lebanese government has extended its ‘general mobilization against coronavirus’ for another four weeks.
The extension, the sixth since it was first adopted on March 15, was based on recommendations from Lebanon’s Higher Defense Council.
“The measures are still urgent to avert any second wave whose consequences will be difficult to treat,” the country’s information minister Manal Abdel-Samad said.
Lebanon’s government is still committed to the five-stage plan of reopening and security forces will help oversee violations of measures, he added.
Authorities have started the second wave of financial aid distribution to those negatively impacted by COVID-19, Prime Minister Hassan Diab meanwhile said.
The government has included more beneficiaries ‘n line with field studies carried out by the Lebanese Army in direct cooperation with the Interior Ministry, municipalities and mokhtars,’ Abdul-Samad said.
Authorities will allow protests if people wear masks, avoid blocking roads, do not vandalize public or private properties, refrain from clashing with security forces and non-participating civilians, she added.
“We are with the right to protest but that right can transform into chaos if there is a return to blocking roads, vandalizing public and private property … I don’t think that any Lebanese person accepts these practices, which don’t resemble democratic expression,” Abdul-Samad said.