Libyan Navy on Tuesday said that 65 illegal immigrants were rescued and five bodies were recovered off the country’s western coast.
“Coast guards operation unit received a report earlier today about a boat requiring assistance 9 miles (14.4 km) off the coast of Khoms (some 120 km east of Tripoli),” said the navy’s spokesman Ayob Qassem.
The boat was found with immigrants on board and some bodies around it, the spokesman said.
The five victims included one Sudanese, one Somalis, and three Moroccans, Qassem said.
The rescued immigrants said the boat carried nearly 90 passengers, meaning that nearly 20 immigrants are still missing, Qassem said, adding that the search would continue to look for more survivors.
Libya is a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe, but many of whom lost their lives on the way.
Improved weather conditions usually increase the immigrant flows to Europe from Libya, particularly off the country’s western coast.