16 Dec 2012

Asylum seekers reach Italy

6:47 am on 16 December 2012

Two boats carrying more than 400 asylum seekers from Libya have arrived on the island of Lampedusa.

The boats were intercepted on Saturday by the Italian coast guard in the open sea south of the island.

The first boat carried 218 people including seven women.

The ANSA news agency reported the second boat had around 220 people including 20 women.

AAP reports most of the recent arrivals on Lampedusa have been on boats coming from Libya.

Tens of thousands of migrants landed on Italian shores last year in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings. Thousands more have arrived this year. Hundreds have died on the way.