37 illegal immigrants rescued off western Libyan coast
Libyan navy said Monday that 37 illegal immigrants have been rescued off the country's western coast, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
"A search and rescue coast guards patrol received a distress call and rescued 37 illegal immigrants on a rubber boat," said Ayob Qassem, the navy's spokesman.
The illegal immigrants were rescued some 53 miles off the coast of Khoms city, some 120 km east of the capital Tripoli, he added.
They are of African and Arab nationalities, the spokesman said, adding that humanitarian and medical assistance has been provided for them.
So far this month, the Libyan navy has announced rescuing more than 800 illegal immigrants in different operations off the country's western coast.
On Sunday, the United Nations Higher Commission of Refugees said that Libya "is not a safe port of disembarkation," calling for an end to detention of illegal immigrants.
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.