TRIPOLI, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Libya has seized 280 illegal immigrants bound for Europe in the western cities of Ajelat and Sabratha, a senior Libyan official said Tuesday.
"Investigators of the Anti-Illegal Department, in cooperation with the military police, carried out a raid on an immigrants trafficking camp in Sabratha and found 93 illegal immigrants," Bassem Al-Gharabli, head of Sabratha's Anti-Illegal Department, told Xinhua.
"The investigators also found 187 illegal immigrants in the neighboring city of Ajelat, after coordinating with a security directorate in the city," Al-Gharabli added.
The department managed to control the flow of migrants, Al-Gharabli said.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Libya announced last week that over 8,000 illegal immigrants of 23 African and Asian nationalities have been voluntarily deported from the country this year so far.
The Libyan navy also confirmed that nearly 9,000 illegal immigrants were rescued off Libyan coast in the first half of 2017.
Following the 2011 uprising that toppled former Gaddafi's regime, Libya has become a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean towards European shores, due to the insecurity and chaos in the country.