The Lebanese army apprehends 64 migrants attempting to cross into Europe by boat.
According to the army leadership, 64 migrants were apprehended by the Lebanese military when they attempted to set sail from northern Lebanon on Tuesday in an attempt to reach Europe.
The migrants – Lebanese, Syrians, and Palestinians — were all detained and questioned, according to an army statement, with the exception of one pregnant woman who was bleeding and was transferred to the hospital.
Before their boat could set sail, the migrants were reportedly apprehended. They were detained at Sheikh Znad, a few kilometers (miles) from Tripoli’s northern metropolis. The attempt occurred just weeks after a boat carrying over 60 migrants capsized off the shore of Tripoli, Lebanon’s second-largest and poorest city, on April 23.
In the incident, seven bodies were discovered, with 47 people rescued and several still missing. Survivors at the time blamed the Lebanese navy for crashing into the refugees’ boat and caused the catastrophe.
For years, Lebanon was a safe haven for refugees, but with the country’s economic collapse in late 2019, hundreds of people have fled by sea in search of a better life in Europe.
Lebanon is a small country with a population of 6 million people, including 1 million Syrian refugees who fled the country’s civil war in 2011. Tens of thousands of Palestinians live in Lebanon, the majority of them are descendants of those who were expelled in 1948.
Migrants typically pay thousands of euros to smugglers who offer to transport them to European Union member states such as Cyprus, Greece, and Italy on boats.