220 migrants rescued at sea

2014-10-26 07:27
Motor boats from the Italian frigate Grecale approach a boat overcrowded with migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. (Italian Navy, AP, ho, file)

Motor boats from the Italian frigate Grecale approach a boat overcrowded with migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. (Italian Navy, AP, ho, file)

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Valletta - About 220 migrants are expected to be taken to Malta on Saturday after they were rescued in rough seas off the Mediterranean island, local media reported.

The migrants, believed to be Syrians and including many women and children, were rescued on Thursday from a fishing boat in distress about 285 nautical miles (530km) south-east of Malta.

The cargo ship Eleonora Maersk was directed to pick up the migrants amid gale force winds.

The migrants were expected in Malta on Saturday morning but their arrival was delayed because their transfer from the cargo ship to Maltese patrol boats was hampered because of rough seas and because a number of migrants insisted they be taken to Italy and not Malta, the Times of Malta newspaper reported.

Both Italy and Malta have called on the EU to help with the swelling numbers of migrants travelling by boat on the Mediterranean to reach Europe.

Read more on:    malta  |  syria conflict

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