301 migrants rescued off Libyan coast

301 migrants rescued off Libyan coast

A cross section of the Nigerian immigrants rescued on 6 November on Libyan waters.

More than 300 migrants on board two rubber boats have been rescued off the Libyan coast near the Capital Tripoli, reported Libya’s Coastguard Thursday.

Navy spokesman, Ayoub Qasim, told dpa the operation to rescue 301 migrants, attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, began in the early hours of the day.

The migrants were then handed to the Illegal Immigration Control Centre in Tripoli.

Qasim expressed concern that smugglers are increasingly using rubber dinghies, a practice that had previously reduce.

“People face great dangers in these dinghies,’’ he said.

Qasim also demanded more aid for his forces, members of which have been receiving increasing numbers of distress calls from migrants at sea.

“The guard and the navy personnel are working in difficult conditions, facing dangerous risks without protection or assistance nor moral or material compensation, except for their meagre salaries,’’ Qasim said.

He added that the meagre salary “do not include health insurance or additional wages when they work longer periods of time, sometimes for several consecutive days”.

Libya has become a major transit route for migrants trying to reach Europe by sea.

It descended into chaos after the overthrow of long-time autocrat Muammar Gaddafi in a 2011 armed revolt.

Hundreds of people were rescued from the Mediterranean this month, as migrants are attempting to cross into Europe.

Earlier in June, at least 57 people died after two migrant boats sank off the Tunisian coast.

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