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Libya border guards rescue migrants in desert near Tunisia

A Libyan border guard gives water to a migrant during a rescue operation in an uninhabited area near the town of Al-Assah on the border with Tunisia
— Al 'Assah (Libya) (AFP)

Libyan border guards have rescued dozens of migrants who have been left in the desert by Tunisian authorities without water and food, and their numbers are "rising", an officer said Sunday.

Hundreds of migrants from sub-Saharan African countries were forcibly taken to desert and hostile areas bordering Libya and Algeria after racial unrest in early July in Sfax, Tunisia's second-largest city.

An AFP team at the Libyan-Tunisian border saw migrants who were visibly exhausted and dehydrated, sitting or lying on the sand and using shrubs to try and shield themselves from the scorching summer heat that topped 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

The group were in an uninhabited area close to Al-Assah, a town near the Tunisia-Libya border, nearly 150 kilometres (93 miles) west of Tripoli.

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