Libyan navy rescues over 400 illegal immigrants

The Libyan navy said on Thursday that more than 400 illegal immigrants were rescued in separate operations off the country's western coast.

"Coast guards patrol rescued 403 illegal immigrants in separate operations during the past few days," said the navy spokesman Ayob Qassem.

The rescue operations took place off the coast of the city of Khoms, some 120 km east of the capital Tripoli, the spokesman said.

The rescued are of different African nationalities, Qassem said, adding that they were taken to reception centers.

A few days ago, the United Nations Higher Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) said that 40 people have been lost at sea after their boat left Khoms.

Because of the insecurity and chaos, Libya is a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe, many of whom drown on the way.

Moreover, the UNHCR has repeatedly stressed that Libya is not a safe port due to the deteriorating security conditions.

Xinhua

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