Tripoli, Oct 17 (IANS) The Libyan navy said that it rescued 90 illegal immigrants off the country’s western coast.
“After a very difficult operation because of sea disturbance, a search and rescue coast guards patrol rescued 90 illegal immigrants, including seven women two of whom are pregnant,” Ayob Qassem, navy spokesman, told Xinhua on Wednesday.
The immigrants, mostly Somalians, were rescued 95 miles (153 km) off the coast of the city of Khoms which is located some 120 km east of the capital Tripoli, Qassem said.
The Libyan navy recently announced that nearly 7,000 illegal immigrants have been rescued off the country’s coast this year.
Thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, choose to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward Europe from Libya amid the insecurity and chaos that have plagued the North African country since the 2011 uprising that toppled the late leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.
The UN Higher Commission of Refugees has repeatedly stressed that Libya is not a safe port for disembarkation of refugees because of the deteriorating security conditions.