More than 900 migrants rescued off Libya

Migrants stand in line during embarking after being rescued by "Save the Children" NGO crew from the ship Vos Hestia in the Mediterranean sea off Libya coast on June 15, 2017.
Migrants stand in line during embarking after being rescued by "Save the Children" NGO crew from the ship Vos Hestia in the Mediterranean sea off Libya coast on June 15, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

TRIPOLI (AFP) - The Libyan coastguard has rescued more than 900 African and Asian migrants attempting to reach Europe, a navy spokesman said on Saturday (June 17).

"A coastguard patrol from Zawiya (west of Tripoli) intercepted five inflatable boats and a wooden vessel carrying 906 migrants at dawn on Friday," General Ayoub Qassem said.

He added that 25 children and 98 women, including seven who were pregnant, were among those rescued.

"One of the rubber boats was holed and on the point of sinking, while the wooden one did not have a motor," he said.

People traffickers have exploited the chaos in Libya since a 2011 uprising toppled and killed strongman Moamer Kadhafi to boost their lucrative but deadly trade.