Libya Rescues 82 Illegal Immigrants

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 17: Immigrants queue at a government refugee center June 17, 2008 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Officials were overwhelmed by the crowd of thousands that appeared Tuesday morning, after a three day weekend in South Africa. The wave of immigrants crossing illegally from Zimbabwe continues, despite the xenophobic violence against immigrants last month. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The Libyan navy has rescued 82 illegal immigrants off the coast of Khoms, Eastern Libya.

“A rubber boat was successfully rescued with 82 migrants on board off the coast of Khoms city after a distress call was received by the Libyan Search and Rescue team,” the navy said.

Among the rescued migrants were eight women and 39 children, were taken to Tripoli’s naval base, provided with humanitarian and medical assistance, and handed over to the anti-illegal immigration department, the statement noted.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), however, has repeatedly said Libya is not a safe port for disembarkation of rescued migrants.

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Thousands of illegal immigrants, who were either rescued at sea or arrested by the authorities, remain detained in overcrowded detention centres in Libya, despite repeated international calls to close them.


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