At least 1,271 refugees were rescued from rubber and wooden boats in different operations off the coast of Libya, Italian Coast Guard said on Tuesday.
Hundreds of thousands of refugees from North Africa and Middle East who are trying to reach EU states arrived in Europe last year, about 4,000 refugees drowned in the Mediterranean Sea during the voyage.
European naval operation, Eunavfor, which includes vessels from the Italian Navy, coast guard and also a Slovenian military ship conducted the rescue operation.
Italy previously ran its own rescue operations, but the European Unions Frontex plan replaced the Italian rescue mission as Europe is facing the worst refugee crisis since World War Two.
Italy is now under intense pressure from its EU partners to start processing all the newly arrived refugees including finger-printing them forcibly if necessary. The flow of refugees has brought the Schengen system of open borders within the bloc to the brink of collapse.