A Libyan Coast Guard patrol rescued on Friday 27 illegal immigrants off Khmos city while they were en route to the Italian shores.

The media office of the Coast Guard said the migrants, 24 men and 3 women, are from Nigeria, Sudan, Eritrea, Egypt, Senegal and Somali, and they were found on a rubber boat 68 miles off Khoms.

During the rescue operation, a Spanish fishing trawler approached the scene and lured the migrants to jump into the water, causing chaos on board the Libyan Coast Guard patrol.

“More than 10 migrants jumped into the water and swam to the Spanish trawler,” the media office reported, adding that later the Spanish Embassy intervened and demanded the handover of migrants back to Libya but the Libyan Coast Guard rejected and urged the Embassy to follow the diplomatic norms by contacting the Libyan government.

The rescued migrants were provided with food and healthcare before transferring them to Souq Khamis Center, the media office said.