Local people watch a body of an illegal immigrant on the coast near Tripoli, Libya, on July 12, 2014. Total 12 bodies of illegal immigrants were found off the shores near Libya's capital city of Tripoli, the official LANA agency reported on Saturday. (Xinhua/Hamza Turkia)
TRIPOLI, July 12 (Xinhua) -- 12 bodies of illegal immigrants were found off the shores near Libya's capital city of Tripoli, the official LANA agency reported on Saturday.
Tajura District Mayor Hosain Al-Zarroog said the bodies were found in the past two days and were reported to be illegal immigrants. The bodies were highly decomposed and have been taken immediately to Tripoli Medical Hospital.
Al-Zarroog said the dead might only consist a small part of the batch of stowaways and warned the bodies could spread diseases if not handled timely.
On July 5, Libya's coast guard frogmen also found a wooden boat with 13 decomposed bodies of the illegal immigrants.
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 earlier this month has established an agency in cooperation with neighboring countries to combat illegal immigration and smuggling.