Libyan navy rescues 147 illegal immigrants off western coast
Libyan navy said it rescued 147 illegal immigrants in two separate operations off the country's western coast, Trend reported citing Xinhua.
The first rescue operation took place some 68 miles off the coast of the city of Zawiya, 45 km west of the capital Tripoli.
A total of 96 illegal immigrants, including 16 women and 4 children, have been rescued in this operation, according to the Libyan navy's information office .
The second operation took place 50 miles off the coast of Khoms city, some 120 km east of Tripoli, rescuing 51 others, the office said in a statement.
The rescued refused to leave their boat and threaten to burn it, the statement revealed. However, they finally agreed to board the navy's vessel after negotiations.
The rescued immigrants have been taken to reception centers after being provided with medical and humanitarian assistance, the statement added.
Due to the insecurity and chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled the late leader Gaddafi's regime, Libya became a preferred point of departure for thousands of illegal immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean toward European shores.