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Italy begins mission to help Libya curb migrant flows

Staff Writer |
Italy began a limited naval mission to help Libya's coastguard curb migrant flows, which have become a source of political friction before national elections expected early next year.




An Italian patrol boat entered Libyan waters and headed towards the port of Tripoli within minutes of a vote in Italy's parliament authorizing the deployment. A second vessel was expected to join it in the coming days.

Italy announced the operation last week, saying it had been requested by Libya's U.N.-backed government.

It initially hoped to send six ships into Libyan territorial waters, but the plans had to be scaled back following protests from Tripoli.