Libyan navy rescues 300 illegal immigrants off western coast

TRIPOLI, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Libyan navy on Sunday said it rescued 300 illegal immigrants on three rubber boats off the country's western coast.


File photo: CGTN

"Coast guards patrol rescued 300 immigrants on three rubber boats northwest Tripoli," navy spokesman Ayob Qassem told Xinhua.

The rescued immigrants are of different African nationalities and include women and children, Qassem said.

Qassem also said that the immigrants have been handed over to the anti-illegal immigration department and then taken to a reception center here.

Following the 2011 unrest that topped former leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya became a departure point for thousands of illegal immigrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean sea towards European shores.

Migrant shelters in Libya are crowded with thousands rescued at sea or arrested by the Libyan security services.