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Dec 14, 10:02 AM EST

3,100 migrants repatriated from Libya in recent days


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JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- The European Union and African Union say at least 3,100 migrants who were stranded in Libya have been returned to their home countries in the past two weeks.

A new task force that also includes the United Nations aims to repatriate another 15,000 migrants from Libya by February.

The effort comes after recent footage showing African migrants in Libya being auctioned as slaves. Several African nations have begun bringing home hundreds of their citizens.

Up to 700,000 migrants are thought to be stranded in dozens of detention camps across the chaotic North African country. Libya is a popular launching spot for migrants attempting the often dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean to Europe.

Some aid groups have accused the EU of contributing to the problem by making entry more difficult.

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