Libya says 148 illegal immigrants rescued off western coast

World Sunday 20/October/2019 23:25 PM
By: Times News Service
Libya says 148 illegal immigrants rescued off western coast

TRIPOLI: Libyan navy on Saturday said it rescued 148 illegal immigrants of different Arab and African nationalities off the country's western coast.

"After receiving a distress call, a search and rescue coast guards patrol rescued 148 illegal immigrants on three rubber boats off the coasts of the cities of Abu Kammash and Sabratha (in western Libya)," Ayob Qassem, the navy's spokesman, told Xinhua.

The immigrants included 15 women and 11 children, the spokesman said, adding that they were provided with humanitarian and medical assistance and handed over to the Illegal Immigration Control Department.

Libyan navy recently said it has rescued nearly 7,000 illegal immigrants this year so far.

Because of the insecurity and chaos that have plagued Libya since the 2011 uprising, thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, choose to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward Europe from Libya.

The United Nations Higher Commission of Refugees has repeatedly stressed that Libya is not a safe port for disembarkation for the refugees because of its deteriorating security conditions.