TRIPOLI: Libyan navy said it rescued 196 illegal immigrants in two separate operations off the country’s western coast.
“A rubber boat with 89 illegal immigrants was rescued nearly 75 miles off the coast of Khoms city (some 120 km east of the capital Tripoli),” the navy’s spokesman Ayob Qassem told Xinhua.
Altogether 107 illegal immigrants were rescued on another rubber boat off the city of Zuwara, some 120 km west of Tripoli, Qassem said.
The rescued, including women and children, were provided with humanitarian and medical assistance and handed over to the Illegal Immigration Control Department, the spokesman added.
The department said it was unable to receive more illegal immigrants due to the high numbers in reception centers as well as a lack of basic requirements.
The 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi created a state of chaos and insecurity, which led to massive flows of illegal immigrants towards Europe.
The United Nations Higher Commission of Refugees has repeatedly stressed that Libya is not a safe port for disembarkation of refugees because of its deteriorating security conditions.