1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Libya's coast guard rescues 278 migrants

August 17, 2019

The Libyan coast guard says it has rescued 278 migrants on four different boats in recent days. The migrants, including 18 women and two children, had been trying to make their way to Europe.

Migrants on a Libyan Navy boat
Photograph from June 29 showing migrants being rescued by the Libyan Navy Image: Reuters/I. Zitouny

Libya's coast guard on Saturday said it had intercepted four boats carrying 278 migrants headed for Europe off the country's Mediterranean coast earlier in the week.

Spokesman Ayoub Gassim said the migrants, including 18 women and two children, were intercepted on Tuesday in separate rescue operations off the coast near the capital, Tripoli.

The operations took place during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which ended on Wednesday.

Read more: Libya's refugees caught in the crossfire of war

Mediterranean: Sea rescue from the air

Libya descended into chaos following a 2011 uprising that toppled long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

In recent years, the country has been a major transit route for migrants, mostly Africans, trying to reach Europe by ship, with thousands being rescued or drowning at sea when their boat sinks.

Read more: At Spain's enclave of Ceuta, African refugees dream of Europe

law/jlw (AP, dpa)

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.