TRIPOLI, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Libyan navy on Wednesday rescued more than 80 illegal immigrants of African and Asian nationalities off the country's western coast.
"After receiving a distress call, a coast guards patrol rescued 82 illegal immigrants, including 11 women and eight children," said navy spokesman Ayob Qassem.
Qassem said that the rescue operation took place 65 km off the coast of Zawiya, a city some 45 km west of Tripoli.
Earlier in the day, the Libyan navy rescued 90 illegal immigrants off the coast of Khoms, a city some 120 km east of Tripoli.
As Libya has been plagued with insecurity and chaos since the late leader Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011, thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, chose to cross the Mediterranean towards Europe from Libya.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has repeatedly stressed that Libya is not a safe port for disembarkation of refugees due to its deteriorating security conditions.