By Walid Abdullah
Libya’s coastguard has rescued more than 230 undocumented migrants off the country’s northern shore, the Libyan Navy said Friday.
A statement by navy forces affiliated with the National Consensus Government said 237 undocumented migrants, including women and children, were saved in two separate operations off the coast of Al-Qaraboli city.
The operations were carried out 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) and 26 km (16 miles) north of the city, it said, adding the majority of those rescued were Somalian nationals.
They were later transferred to an asylum center in Tripoli's Tajura district after receiving necessary humanitarian aid.
Around 785 migrants have died in the Mediterranean Sea this year while trying to sail to Europe, according to the UN Migration Agency (IOM).
According to the Libyan Navy, 16,000 undocumented migrants were rescued in 2017.
Ever since the collapse of the central authority in Libya in 2011, the country’s northwestern coast has become a hub for illegal migration to Italy and other countries in Europe.
Libya represents a major transit point for African migrants seeking access to Europe, especially Italy.