197 illegal migrants rescued off coast: Libyan navy

The Libyan Navy on Sunday said it rescued 197 illegal migrants and discovered the bodies of two others off the country’s western coast.

The rescued migrants, including women and children, are of different African nationalities, the Libyan Navy said in a statement.

They were provided with assistance and transferred to the anti-illegal immigration department, the statement said.

Due to insecurity and chaos in the North African nation following the overthrow of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, choose to cross the Mediterranean from Libya towards Europe.

The International Organization for Migration estimated that in 2020, 323 migrants died and 417 others went missing on the Central Mediterranean route, while 11,891 illegal migrants were rescued and returned to Libya.