147 illegal immigrants rescued off Libya’s western coast

Picture showing the shipwreck of an overcrowded boat of migrants off the Libyan coast (Getty Images)

Libya’s navy rescued 147 illegal immigrants in two separate operations off the country’s western coast.

Both missions occurred on Sunday. The first rescue operation took place 68 miles off the coast of the city of Zawiya, which is about 45km west of the country’s capital, Tripoli, while the second operation took place about 50 miles off the coast of Khoms city.

96 illegal immigrants, including 16 women and 4 children, were rescued in the first operation while the rest were rescued in the second operation.

According to the statement from the Libyan navy, the rescued immigrants were taken to reception centers after being provided with medical and humanitarian assistance.

Due to the insecurity and chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled the late leader Gaddafi’s regime, Libya became a preferred point of departure for thousands of illegal immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean toward European shores.

Improved weather conditions increase flows of illegal immigrants from Libya to Europe, particularly from the country’s western coast.

This is however not the first time illegal immigrants have been rescued by the Libyan navy, about 300 illegal immigrants have been rescued this month.