Bodies of 11 migrants found off Libyan coast

Illegal migrants sit on the ground at a naval base after being rescued by Libyan navy in Tripoli, Libya, on April 22, 2018.(Photo Courtesy,Xinhua/Hamza Turkia)

Libya’s navy on Sunday recovered bodies of 11 migrants and rescued 83 others off the coast of the western city of Sabratha.

Speaking to Xinhua news agency, Navy spokesman Ayob Qassem said a Coast Guard patrol discovered the migrants on a rubber boat about 5 miles off Sabratha coast.

Qassem further adds that, “The boat was broken down when (the patrol) reached it,”

The rescued migrants were all of different African nationalities and were taken to the oil port of al-Zawiya city some 45 km west of the capital Tripoli, at 13:00 local time

Following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Gaddafi’s regime, Libya became a major departure point for illegal immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean towards Europe, due to the state of the insecurity and chaos in the country.

Improved weather conditions increase the flow of migrant boats from Libya towards Europe, particularly off western coasts. According to official statistics, the immigrants rescued off Libyan coast during the first quarter of 2018 are more than 4,000.