Italian coastguard save 750 migrants
Rome, Sep 16 (IANS/AKI) Italy’s coastguard on Thursday rescued 750 migrants from six boats in the Mediterranean and recovered.
The migrants were aboard one small boat and five motorised rubber dinghies, two of which were adrift without any power.
An Italian navy ship also took part in the operation and one belonging to the Malta-based Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), coastguard said.
A British navy vessel from European Union’s Mediterranean naval mission recovered the corpse of one migrant.
A day earlier rescuers pulled some 650 migrants to safety and recovered five dead bodies from boats in difficulty off the coast of Libya, coastguard said.
At least 235,000 migrants and refugees are on the coast of Libya waiting to cross the Mediterranean to Italy, Martin Kobler, the United Nations envoy to the war-wracked country warned on Thursday.
Over 128,000 migrants have reached Italy from the North African coast so far this year, straining to the limit Italy’s capacity to accommodate them and process their asylum applications.
Last year, over one million migrants and asylum-seekers entered the European Union, mostly via Greece and Italy amid a continuing crisis that is straining the unity of the bloc.