BEIRUT

World

Italian navy saves over 1,000 boat migrants

A handout photo taken on February 16, 2014 by the Italian Navy shows immigrants being rescued by the Italian Navy near the Italian island of Lampedusa. AFP PHOTO / ITALIAN NAVY

ROME, Feb 17, 2014 (AFP) - Italy's navy said Monday it had saved over 1,000 migrants taking the perilous journey by boat across the Mediterranean this weekend, including 64 minors and a newborn baby.

Several boats carrying a total of 1,079 people were spotted and assisted since Friday, and the majority of them were being transported to the port of Augusta in Sicily on an Italian warship, the navy said in a statement.

The migrants came largely from West African countries -- Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal -- as well as some from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan, according to the local Giornale di Sicilia newspaper.

The migrants were rescued as part of the Italian government's "Mare Nostrum" operation, which mobilises warships, amphibious vessels and aircraft to try and prevent further tragedies like the two shipwrecks in October in which more than 400 immigrants died.

Immigration charities estimate that between 17,000 and 20,000 migrants have died at sea trying to reach Europe over the past 20 years, often crossing on rickety fishing boats or rubber dinghies.

lrb/ide/dt/yad

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here