Libyan navy rescues 335 immigrants off western coast


 TRIPOLI, March 11, 2018 (BSS/Xinhua) – The Libyan navy on Saturday night rescued 335 illegal immigrants off the country’s western coast, a navy spokesman said.

The coast guard picked up the immigrants including at least seven children during three rescue operations dozens of kilometers west of the country’s capital Tripoli, navy spokesman Ayob Qassem told Xinhua.

All of them were provided medical treatment and were well cared for, Qassem said, without mentioning if there were any casualties.

Libya has become the preferred departure point for illegal immigrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean into Europe, because of insecurity and chaos in the North African country following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Improved weather conditions have increased the flow of migrant boats from Libya towards Europe, particularly off the country’s western coast.