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UN agencies seek 'new approach' to Libya migrant crisis

GENEVA — The U.N. migration and refugee agencies are making a joint call for a “new approach” among countries to solve a migration crisis affecting Libya and the often-deadly route across the Mediterranean toward Europe.

The International Organization for Migration and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees are urging a return of European Union countries’ search and rescue vessels into the Mediterranean, and extra support for the Libyan coast guard so long as it does not return migrants to the instability-wracked country.

UNHCR spokesman Charlie Yaxley said Thursday that the agencies also want Libyan authorities to release people held in detention centres and have these “replaced with community-living or open centres.”

The call follows airstrikes that killed dozens of migrants in a detention centre in the town of Tajoura on July 3.

The Associated Press