Nearly 300 immigrants rescued off Libyan coast

January 8, 2018

Libyan naval rescued 297 illegal immigrants on Sunday and recovered two bodies off the coast of the western city of Garrabulli, some 60 km east of the capital Tripoli.

'A navy patrol rescued 297 illegal immigrants off the coast of the city of Garrabulli. They were on two rubber boats tens of miles north of the city,' Ayob Qassem, Libyan navy spokesman, told Xinhua.

'The two bodies are women, one of them was pregnant. They were found on one of the seized boats,' Qassem said.

The spokesman added the two boats were overloaded with migrants, which led to the death of the two women.

Libya has become a 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.