Libyan navy rescues 383 illegal immigrants off western coast

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-23 23:00:03|Editor: yan
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TRIPOLI, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Libyan navy on Saturday announced rescuing a total of 383 illegal immigrants off the country's western coast in five different operations.

On Thursday, a coast guards patrol rescued 99 illegal immigrants off Khoms city, some 120 km east of the capital Tripoli, the Libyan navy said in a statement.

A woman gave birth to a baby girl on the coast guards patrol boat as the patrol was on the way to Libyan shore after rescuing the immigrants, the statement said.

A total of 284 immigrants were rescued on Wednesday in four different operations off the country's western coast, the Libyan navy said.

On Friday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) called on the European Union and the African Union for an urgent shift in approaching the situation of illegal immigrants in Libya.

IOM on Friday said that during the previous 48 hours, more than 600 illegal immigrants, including women and children, have been discovered on the central Mediterranean route.

IOM estimated that more than 8,600 illegal immigrants have been returned to overcrowded detention centers in Libya, where the UN documented "unacceptable conditions, violations of human rights and disappearances."

Thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, choose to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward Europe from Libya, because of the insecurity and chaos that have plagued Libya since the 2011 uprising that toppled the late leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

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

Libya's eastern-based army and the UN-backed government have been fighting since early April over control of the capital Tripoli, an armed conflict that claimed many lives, including immigrants.