22 immigrants rescued, three bodies recovered off Libyan coast

FILE PHOTO: 31 August 2019, ---: Around 100 migrants stand and lie tightly packed on deck of the rescue ship "Eleonore" in the early hours of the morning. The "Eleonore" took in the migrants on 26.08.2019 off the Libyan coast. The people were rescued while their boat was sinking, said Axel Steier, spokesman for the Dresden aid organisation Mission Lifeline, which supports the "Eleonore". The ship continues to search for a safe haven. Photo: Johannes Filous/dpa (Photo by Johannes Filous/picture alliance via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: About 100 migrants are crowded together on deck of a rescue ship off the Libyan coast./ Getty Images)

The Interior Ministry of Libya’s UN-backed government on Saturday said that 22 migrants were rescued and three bodies were recovered off Libya’s western coast.

The migrants were rescued by two fishing bulldozers from a wrecked boat that carried 35 migrants off the coast of the western city of Al-Khoms, the ministry said in a statement.

“The necessary measures were taken and the migrants were handed over to the anti-illegal immigration department,” the statement said.

Following the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has been plagued by insecurity and chaos that prompts thousands of immigrants to attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward Europe from the country.

According to the International Organization for Migration, thousands of migrants have been rescued and returned to Libya in 2020.

Many migrants, who were either rescued at sea or arrested by authorities, remain detained in overcrowded centers in Libya despite repeated international calls to close those centers.

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