Tripoli, Oct 3 (IANS) The Libyan Navy has said it has rescued 7,036 illegal immigrants this year so far, compared with 12,365 illegal immigrants rescued from January 1 to September 30 last year.
In a statement issued late Wednesday, the Navy’s information office said that 11 bodies of illegal immigrants had been recovered off Libyan shores by the end of September, compared with 88 during the same period last year, Xinhua news agency reported.
Libya has become a preferred departure point for refugees hoping to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe because of insecurity and chaos in the North African country following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Migrant shelters in Libya are crowded with people who have been rescued at sea or arrested by Libyan security services.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration have demanded closing the immigration reception centres in Libya, stressing that the country is not a safe port for disembarkation of immigrants due to its deteriorating security condition.