Thousands of migrants saved near Libyan coast

Officials announce some 2,700 migrants saved on near coast of Libya

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Around 2,700 migrants were rescued on Monday from 13 different boats near Libya by Italian coast guard, an official said.

The Italian navy and coast guard along with a German navy vessel and a rescue ship participated in 13 separate operations to save the migrants.

The coast guard announced that the migrants were saved near Sicily while they were sailing to reach Europe with inflatable boats.

Five of the boats were rescued by the Bourbon Argos, Doctors Without Borders' (MSF's) ship, while another two were saved by the German navy vessel Werra.

Southern European countries Italy, Malta and Greece in particular have been the hardest hit by the sudden influx of migrants to the continent in recent years, and have long called on richer central and northern European countries for more support in dealing with the crisis.

The increase in migrants daring to risk their lives to sail across the Mediterranean in rickety boats belonging to human traffickers, many of whom abandon the migrants in the middle of the sea, is largely due to the recent increase in conflicts in Africa and the Middle East.

The EU has been under pressure to deal with the crisis, especially after over 900 migrants drowned off the coast of Italy when their boat capsized in April.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) announced that some 150,000 migrants and refugees have reached Europe crossing the Mediterranean and more than 1,900 of them have died in the sea so far this year.

1,841 of the migrants died in the central Mediterranean as they crossed from Libya to Malta or Italy.


TRTWorld and agencies