The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), late Sunday, said that 79 illegal migrants were rescued and eight others went missing off the Libyan coast.
“IOM staff are providing emergency assistance to 79 migrants returned to Libya by the coast guard today,’’ the UN body tweeted.
Among the rescued migrants were 13 women and seven children, it said.
Libya has been mired in the chaos following the ouster and killing of its leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making the North African country a preferred point of departure for illegal migrants who intend to cross the Mediterranean Sea towards Europe.
Thousands of illegal migrants, who were either rescued at sea or arrested by the authorities, remain detained in overcrowded detention centres in Libya.
This is in spite of repeated international calls to close those centres.