324 immigrants including Libyans rescued off Libya coast

Migrants from Niger wait before they are deported by Libyan authorities, in Misrata, Libya, February 19, 2018. REUTERS/Ayman al-Sahili

The Libyan coastguard said 324 migrants were picked up on Monday trying to leave the North African country on board two rubber boats.

Libya’s western coastline is the main departure point for migrants attempting to reach Europe by sea to seek better lives. Most are from sub-Saharan Africa, though recently more Tunisians and Libyans have been trying to cross.

 The migrants intercepted about seven miles off the western town of Zuwara on Monday included 35 women and 16 children, coastguard spokesman Ayoub Qassem said in a statement.

They were mostly from four sub-Saharan countries: Chad, Nigeria, Mali, Ivory Coast and 35 Libyan nationals.

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