CAIRO — Libya’s navy confirmed Friday that it rescued three boats carrying a total of 290 Europe-bound migrants off the country’s Mediterranean coast, a day after a German aid group released video showing a sinking raft packed with dozens of migrants, with some people scattered in the sea.
Libyan coast guards first reported finding a sinking rubber boat whose bottom had collapsed on Thursday, leaving most migrants in the water and hanging onto what was left of the boat and plastic barrels. A statement posted Friday on the navy press center’s official Facebook page says that boat carried 87 migrants, including six women and a child.
Earlier, the coast guard came to the rescue of two other rubber boats carrying a total of 203 migrants, according to a separate statement.
The three boats carried mostly Arab and African nationals as well as 14 Bangladeshis, who were handed over to Libyan police after receiving humanitarian and medical aid.
A few hours earlier, German aid group Sea-Watch said its aircraft had witnessed three rescue operations by Libyan coast guards on Thursday.
Libya became a major conduit for African migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe after the 2011 uprising that ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi and amid the subsequent chaos that engulfed the country.
Print Headline: Libyan navy saves stranded migrants