Pope Francis has appealed for the evacuation of women, children and sick migrants trapped in Libyan detention centers as soon as possible, through humanitarian corridors.

During his Regina Coeli prayer on Sunday, the pontiff said the refugees’ situation, “which is already very serious, has become even more dangerous due to the ongoing conflict.”

On Saturday, air strikes hit the Libyan capital as forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Hifter pursued a campaign to take Tripoli.

Pope Francis waves to the crowd during the Regina Coeli noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis waves to the crowd during the Regina Coeli noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

The pope has previously referred to the wretched conditions of migrants in Libyan detention centers, particularly those who are sent back after trying to reach Europe by boat.

Returning from Ireland last August, he told reporters he had seen a smuggled video of migrants being tortured and said: “You have to think hard about sending them back.”

Pope Francis delivers his speech during the Regina Coeli noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis delivers his speech during the Regina Coeli noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

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