Illegal immigrants rescued off Libya's western coast

TEHRAN, Feb. 08 (MNA) – Above 30 illegal migrants, including women and children, have been rescued off Libya's western coast.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Sunday said that 32 illegal migrants, including women and children, were rescued off Libya's western coast, Xinhua reported.

"Another boat returned to Tripoli with 32 people on board, including 2 children and 3 Libyan families. The wooden vessel had set off from Zawiya the previous day," UNHCR tweeted.

UNHCR stressed that Libya is not a safe port for the disembarkation of rescued migrants.

Unseasonably warm weather has seen a record number of boats trying to leave Libya, with about 1,430 illegal migrants rescued off the coast over the past four days, UNHCR tweeted Sunday.

Thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, chose to cross the Mediterranean from Libya towards Europe, due to the state of insecurity and chaos in the North African nation following the fall of its leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Last year, 323 migrants died and 417 others went missing on the Central Mediterranean route, while 11,891 were rescued and returned to Libya, according to the International Organization for Migration. 

HJ/Xinhua

News Code 169659

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