TRIPOLI, May 13 (Xinhua) -- The Libyan coast guard on Saturday rescued 334 illegal immigrants of different African nationalities off the country's western coast.
The illegal immigrants were rescued in three separate operations, with the first off the coast near Tripoli involving a rubber boat carrying 112 people.
The other two operations were carried out off the coast of the city of Khoms, some 120 km east of Tripoli, rescuing a total of 222 migrants who were in two boats.
The anti-illegal immigration department under the Interior Ministry is responsible for investigating illegal immigration, housing rescued migrants and foiling human smuggling.
Mohamed Beshr, the head of the department, told Xinhua earlier that there are 26 shelters in Libya housing more than 8,000 illegal immigrants.
Thousands of illegal immigrants choose to cross the Mediterranean towards European shores from Libya due to the state of chaos in the country following the 2011 uprising.