Libyan navy rescues 200 illegal immigrants off western coast

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-01 09:21:39|Editor: mingmei
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TRIPOLI, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Libyan navy announced Thursday the rescue of 200 illegal immigrants, including women and children, off the country's western coast.

"We received a distress call from immigrants' boats and sent a search and rescue vessel. Two wooden boats with a total of 200 illegal immigrants, including seven women and three children, were rescued," Libyan navy spokesman Ayob Qassem told Xinhua.

The rescued immigrants are of different nationalities, including Africans, Asians, and Arabs, the spokesman said, adding that the immigrants were taken to a reception center in the capital Tripoli.

The 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Gaddafi's regime created a state of chaos in Libya, which led to massive flows of illegal immigrants cross the Mediterranean Sea towards Europe.

The Libyan navy has announced the rescue of nearly 7,000 illegal immigrants off the country's coast so far this year.

The United Nations Higher Commission of Refugees has repeatedly stressed that Libya is not a safe port for disembarkation of refugees, given the deteriorating security conditions in the country.