20 illegal immigrants died drowning as their boat - laden with more than 150 ones - had capsized after taking off from Libya toward Italy.

The Guardian reported Monday the Italian Coast Guard as saying that 149 immigrants, including 13 women and three children, were rescued and scores were missing.

The newspaper added that the immigrants wanted to take advantage of lack of surveillance operations in the bad weather conditions but strong winds drowned their boat.

Over the last two days, the Libyan coastguards have rescued 490 illegal immigrants from different African countries in separate operations.