Libyan navy rescues 152 illegal immigrants off western coast

  10 June 2018    Read: 1789
Libyan navy rescues 152 illegal immigrants off western coast

Libya's navy on Saturday rescued over 150 illegal immigrants on rubber boats off the country's western coast, a navy spokesman said, Xinhua reported.

"A coast guard patrol vessel rescued 152 immigrants of African nationalities on two rubber boats, one of which almost drowned," spokesman Ayob Qassem told Xinhua.

"The first boat was rescued 20 miles (about 32 km) off the coast of the Zuwara city west of the capital Tripoli, while the second boat was rescued 20 miles (about 32 km) off the coast of Garrabulli city east of Tripoli," Qassem said, adding that the second boat almost drowned before being assisted by a Libyan oil tanker until the coast guard vessel arrived.

The rescued migrants have been taken to a Tripoli naval base, provided with humanitarian and medical assistance, and handed over to the anti-illegal immigration department, the spokesman said.

Following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya became a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean into Europe due to the country's state of insecurity and chaos.


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