More than 3,000 migrants were arrested in smugglers camps near the Libyan city of Sabratha on Saturday and transported
to detention centres set up to combat illegal immigration.
The arrests come after a week of heavy fighting in the port and a day after an armed alliance claimed victory over Italian-backed militias who had been paid to stem the flow of migrants to Europe.
The scale and level of the fighting saw thousands of residents flee. It also endangered Sabratha’s ancient antiquities – including remnants of a third century Roman city.
The head of Sabratha’s archaeological department, Professor Mohamed Arhuma said: “There will be support, either from the Libyan government or the Antiquities Authority, or even from UNESCO for the restoration. We have institutions. God willing, if the possibilities are available, we have the expertise to fix it.”
Residents have started returning to Sabratha.
At least 100 people are estimated to have died in the recent power struggle for the port, which is home to a key oil and gas terminal, jointly run by Italian energy giant Eni.