Dozens of refugees and migrants who were held in detention in bleak conditions in Libya were evacuated to Italy late on Friday night, according to the United Nations’ refugee agency.
It is the first time that the organization has relocated people from Libya directly into Europe.
The group of 162 refugees and migrants from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen arrived at a military base near Rome aboard two planes and were met by Italian authorities.
Photos of the arrival show women carrying small children wrapped bundled in blankets and layers of warm clothes as they boarded buses.
Vincent Cochetel, a representative for the central Mediterranean region of the United Nations’ refugee agency, said in a statement that five of the women who arrived in Italy had given birth while in detention in Libya, where they only had access to limited medical assistance.
“Some of those evacuated suffered tremendously and were held captive in inhumane conditions while in Libya,” Mr. Cochetel said.