TRIPOLI  -      Libya’s coast guards on Thursday said they rescued 61 illegal immigrants off the country’s western coast. The immigrants were on a broken rubber boat 30 miles (48 km) off the coast of the capital Tripoli when they were found, the coast guards said in a statement. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) provided necessary assistance to the immigrants before they were taken to a reception center in eastern Tripoli.

Due to the insecurity and chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled the late leader Gaddafi’s government, Libya becomes a preferred point of departure for thousands of illegal immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean toward European shores.