Italy rescues over 1 500 migrants in Strait of Sicily

2016-03-29 20:43
Rescued migrants sit in a Italian Navy's boat in the Sicily channel. ((Italian Navy, via AP)

Rescued migrants sit in a Italian Navy's boat in the Sicily channel. ((Italian Navy, via AP)

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Rome - Italy's coast guard said onTuesday 1 569 migrants had been rescued in 11 separate operations in the Strait of Sicily, as a wave of boats departing from the Libyan coast intensifies.

The "Diciotti" vessel came to the rescue of four inflatable dinghies and a boat, bringing a total of 774 people to safety, the coast guard said in a statement.

Meanwhile, three Italian navy ships rescued over 660 migrants in various operations while a German military ship picked up another 105.

Close to 1 500 people were rescued in the Mediterranean over the weekend, adding to fears that calmer seas at the onset of spring is encouraging greater numbers of migrants to attempt the perilous crossing after a winter lull.

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), about 17 500 people have arrived in Italy since the start of the year.

Read more on:    italy  |  libya  |  migrants

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