8,997 illegal immigrants rescued off Libyan coast in H1
London, Oct. 22, 2017 (AltAfrika)-A total of 8,997 illegal immigrants had been rescued off Libyan coast in the first half of 2017. That’s the official figure from the Libyan Navy
“Altogether 8,997 illegal immigrants were rescued during the first half of 2017. The number of the missing at sea during the same period is 455,” said Libyan Navy Spokesman Ayob Qassem.
“Twenty illegal immigrants had drowned, according to data gathered from 37 rescue operations by the Coast Guards and the Special Forces of Libyan Navy during the first half of this year,” Qassem added.
The turmoil that followed the 2011 uprising in Libya led to massive flows of migrants across the Mediterranean towards European shores. Smugglers take advantage of the insecurity and chaos in the North African country to send thousands of migrants in rickety boats towards Europe.