Italy Led Flotilla Rescues 5900 From Mediterranean

Migrants rescued from the sea
Migrants rescued from the sea

An international rescue team over the weekend saved about 5,900 migrants, including 10 pregnant women from boats attempting to cross the stormy Mediterranean Sea.

The migrants were heading for Europe from North Africa, Italian coastguard said on Sunday when they were intercepted he stormy weather.

On Saturday, at least 3,500 migrants were rescued about 45 miles from the Libyan coast.

Also, the Italian coastguard said British, Swedish, Spanish and Italian ships and a merchant vessel on Sunday undertook the perilous operation of rescuing 15 different boats, which had on board 2,400 people.

The British warship, Bulwark, picked up more than 1,000 refugees.

Authorities added that all those rescued have been taken to Italian ports.

Italy is currently experiencing political tension, as opposition politicians have condemned the government’s handling of the massive migrant inflow in recent weeks.

Roberto Maroni, the president of Italy’s anti-immigrant Northern League of the Lombardy region, which includes the capital Milan, has said he would no longer shelter any more migrants.

The numbers of migrants and refugees flowing into Europe across the treacherous sea have been on the rise since the start of 2015.

The U.N. refugee agency estimates that more than 1,800 have drowned in these attempts. 800 migrants perished in a shipwreck in April.




     

     

    Between January and May this year, there were 46,500 sea arrivals into Italy, a 12 percent increase on the same period of last year, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has said.

    Italian authorities project that about 200,000 will still attempt to come this year, up from 170,000 in 2014.

    The European Union has increased its presence in the Mediterranean in response to the surge, but it is still at a loss on how to handle the refugee crisis.

    EU interior ministers are due to discuss a European Commission plan on June 16 to disperse 40,000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece to other member states.

     

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