Libyan coast guards rescue 44 illegal immigrants

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File: Migrants on a wooden boat are rescued by the Malta-based NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) in the central Mediterranean in international waters off the coast of Sabratha in Libya, April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Libyan coast guards have rescued 44 illegal immigrants off the coastal city of Zuwara, some 120 kilometers west of the capital Tripoli.

According to Xinhua, the Security Directorate of Zuwara said in a statement that a coast guards patrol rescued the immigrants as their rubber boat broke down en route to Europe.

Four women and one child among the rescued immigrants are from different African nationalities, the statement said, adding that they have been provided with necessary humanitarian assistance upon arrival to Zuwara.

Thousands of illegal immigrants choose to cross the Mediterranean towards European shores from Libya due to insecurity and chaos following the 2011 uprising.

A total of 22,000 illegal immigrants have reached Europe from Libya since the beginning of the year, while 1,267 others drowned en route, according to the International Organization for Migration.

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