Libya’s coastguard rescued 180 migrants, including 12 children, who were on board a rubber boat in the Mediterranean, according to a navy statement released, on Monday.

The navy said they were rescued on Sunday 44 miles from the coastal city of al-Khoms, east of the capital Tripoli.

The migrants, who came from Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, Nigeria and Guinea – were handed to the Illegal Immigration Control Centre in the city.

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The operation comes one day after Libya’s coastguard said it rescued 152 migrants from two boats attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

Libya has become a major transit route for migrants trying to reach Europe by sea.

It descended into chaos since the overthrow of long-time autocrat Moamer Gaddafi in a 2011 armed revolt.

Following a cooperation agreement reached between the Libyan coastguard and the EU in 2017, the number of migrants arriving in Italy via the Mediterranean has fallen sharply.