Italian coastguard tries to rescue 1 000 migrants

2015-02-15 21:13
Video-grab of rescue operation. (AP)

Video-grab of rescue operation. (AP)

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Rome - The Italian coastguard launched a major rescue operation Sunday for more than 1 000 migrants in difficulty between the Italian island of Lampedusa and the Libyan coast.

Around 150 migrants aboard two vessels from Libya have already been helped to safety, emergency officials told AGI news agency.

A coastguard source said as many as 1 300 migrants in 10 boats could be in need of rescuing.

Several cargo ships in the area were assisting the coastguard with the rescue.

Last year, more than 3 200 people died while attempting to reach Italy by boat from North Africa, on what the United Nations has described as the most dangerous route in the world.

In the latest tragedy last week, more than 300 died when their overcrowded rubber dinghies collapsed and sank in stormy seas.

On Friday, about 600 migrants on board six dinghies were rescued by the Italian coastguard and merchant vessels off the Libyan coast.

Read more on:    italy  |  libya  |  north africa

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