Illegal migrants arrive by boat at a naval base after they were rescued by Libyan coastguard in the coastal city of Tripoli, Libya, May 10, 2017. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny
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Libya's coastguard intercepted about 300 migrants packed onto a wooden boat and returned them to Tripoli on Wednesday after warning off a ship that was preparing to pick them up for passage to Europe.Tripoli coastguard spokesman Ayoub Qassem said the incident had occurred about 19 miles (30 km) north of Libya's coast.Larger wooden boats carrying several hundred migrants are rarer.One 24-year-old Moroccan man said he had come to Libya five weeks earlier in order to try to reach Europe. A 28-year-old man, also Moroccan, said he had been working in Libya for four years, but had decided to leave because the situation was deteriorating.
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