Tripoli, Nov 30 (IANS) The Libyan Coast Guard has rescued more than 200 migrants off the country’s western coast, the International Organisation for Migration in Libya (IOM Libya) said.
“Over 200 migrants were just returned to Libyan shore by the coast guard,” the IOM Libya tweeted earlier Saturday.
“While our staff are at the disembarkation point to provide needed emergency assistance, we reiterate that Libya is not a safe port,” said the UN Migration Agency in Libya.
Libya has become a preferred departure point for migrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe due to the insecurity and chaos in the North African country following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Libyan navy said it has rescued nearly 500 illegal immigrants off the country’s western coast over the past few days.
“There are over 600,000 migrants in Libya, many of whom are in need of assistance especially as conflict continues,” the IOM Libya said.