Migrants: Tripoli thanks Italy but wants help in maintenance

Of cutters, says coast guard operations chief

31 May, 15:18

    CAIRO - Thanking Italian authorities for cooperating in the fight against human trafficking, the operations chief of Libyan coast guards, Colonel Massoud Abdelsamad, called on Italy to send spare parts and maintenance support soon for cutters given to Tripoli to fight traffickers through ''joint operations'' carried out by Italy and Libya.
    ''I would like to thank very much Italian authorities and especially the Italian coast guard: we have a good cooperation between us'', the colonel said, commenting recent gunfire between his personnel and traffickers. ''We are in contact 24 hours a day and sometimes carry out joint operations'', added Abdelsamad in a phone interview with ANSA.
    ''Our boats however need spare parts and maintenance. We would like to have in Libya, as soon as possible, the finance police team that has been working closely with us since 2010'', also said the colonel, referring to a unit that should take care of maintenance in case of problems.
    ''We were promised that the group would come to Libya and we are now waiting for it so it can support us'', stated Abdelsamad. ''We can carry out joint operations with the Libyan coast guard, finance police and Italian coast guard'' and ''this would help us a lot'', he concluded, recalling that traffickers are heavily armed and have fast motor boats. 

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