Migrant baby born on patrol boat

2012-05-27 14:06

Valletta - A baby was born on a patrol boat as a group of 136 migrants were rescued off Malta on Sunday, officials said.

The 86 men, 43 women and seven children were picked up from a drifting dinghy about 72 miles south of Malta after a distress call.

Officials said a baby was born shortly after the migrants were transferred to a rescue boat on its route to Malta. Another newborn was also among the African migrants, who are believed to have fled Libya some days ago.

Almost 400 asylum seekers from Africa have landed in Malta in May alone, heightening alarm in the EU's smallest state.

Malta's Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici warned the country to brace itself for a "challenging" summer as the political turmoil in neighbouring Libya has left borders unchecked.