A rescued man disembarks from the Aquarius ship of SOS Mediterranee upon its arrival in Palermo. (Igor Petyx/ANSA via AP)
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Some 600 migrants rescued at sea arrived Friday in Sicily – one of the biggest influxes since Italy struck a deal with Libyan authorities to limit migrant smuggling – raising concerns of a renewed surge on the Libyan human trafficking route. The migrants, including many unaccompanied minors from sub-Saharan Africa, were rescued in seven operations over 36 hours, and transported Friday to Palermo by the German non-governmental organization SOS Mediterranee.They came as three weeks of fighting around the Libyan city of Sabratha has destabilized militias that pledged to help reduce the flow of migrant smuggling across the Mediterranean Sea, leaving many migrants and refugees displaced.The UNHCR said Friday that fierce clashes over the last three weeks near Sabratha, some 80 kilometers west of Tripoli, have stranded 3,000 Libyan families, most of whom have since returned home, and displaced more than 10,000 refugees and migrants, who remain "in need of urgent assistance".
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