Libyan coastguards rescued 252 illegal migrants on Saturday

African immigrants arrive in Tripoli after being detained by the Libyan coastguard (Reuters)

The Libyan navy on Saturday rescued 252 migrants seeking to reach Europe, in two separate operations off the country’s western coast.

“We were alerted… to the position of a migrant boat” around 30km off Zawiya, west of Tripoli, navy captain Rami al-Hadi Ghomed said.

He said the 140 migrants on board, including 14 women and four children, were brought back to Tripoli’s naval base before being transferred to a detention centre.

Since the 2011 fall and killing of longtime dictator Moamar Gaddafi, Libya has become a key launch pad for migrants making desperate bids to reach Europe, often on unseaworthy vessels.

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