October 23, 2016

Thousands Of Migrants Rescued Off Coast Of Libya

The Italian Coast Guard also helped to rescue the group

Around 6,500 migrants have been rescued off Libya, according to the Italian coastguard, in one of its biggest co-ordinated operations in recent years.

Images showed migrants wearing life jackets jumping off one of their boats into the Mediterranean and swimming toward rescuers.

The Italian coastguard said Monday’s operations included vessels from humanitarian organisations as well as the EU’s border agency Frontex.

The rescue comes just a day after around 1,100 migrants, mostly from Somalia, were saved from the Strait of Sicily.

That group was found on eight rubber dinghies, one large boat and two punts.

Over the past year, 105,342 migrants have reached Italy by boat, most of them setting off from Libya.

Many are fleeing from violence and poverty and are desperate enough to risk the sailing on dangerously small and unsuitable vessels.

An estimated 2,726 people have died over the same period, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

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