" The official, who did not wish to be named, said the coast guards were searching the boat and survivors in the area."
Tripoli, Aug 23 - A wooden boat carrying some 170 illegal immigrants was missing off the Libyan coast near Tripoli Friday, a coast guard official said.

The stowaways were believed from sub-Saharan African countries and intended to go to Italy. Their boat was feared sank some 60 km east of Tripoli in the Guarakouzi area, Xinhua quoted the official as saying.

The official, who did not wish to be named, said the coast guards were searching the boat and survivors in the area.

Libya has long been a transit point for migrants seeking to reach Malta, Italy, and other places in Europe because of its proximity and relatively loose border control. The Libyan government since earlier July has established an agency in cooperation with neighbouring countries to combat illegal immigration and smuggling.


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