Italy’s coastguard rescues 4,700 refugees

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In one of the inflatable boats a woman's body was found, the coastguard said. [AP]

ARA News 

GENEVA – Italy’s coastguard said on Saturday it rescued some 4,700 refugees off the Libyan coast, as they tried to reach Europe.

The coastguard had coordinated “20 rescue operations involving numerous vessels” which picked up 4,343 migrants from rubber boats and barges. 

One woman was found dead in an inflatable boat, Italy’s coastguard said in a statement.  

Another 335 people were picked up as part of a rescue mission coordinated by Greece and were being directed to a port in Italy to disembark. 

“The rescues were carried out by vessels from the Italian coastguard and navy, humanitarian agency Doctors Without Borders, the Malta-based Migrant Offshore Aid Station, a merchant boat, a Croatian vessel under the European Union’s Triton rescue mission and naval ships from Germany and Britain under the EU’s EUNAVFOR Med mission,” Reuters reported.

This year, tens of thousands of migrants have tried to cross the Mediterranean towards Europe, amid increasing numbers of people sinking before reaching Italian and Greek shores. 

This comes as Europe tries to cope with continuous influx of refugees, mostly fleeing war in Syria. 

By: Lorin Silo

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