6 Jul 2016

Italy rescues 4500 refugees from boats in one day

11:46 am on 6 July 2016

Some 4500 refugees and migrants have been rescued from rubber dinghies and a wooden boat in the Mediterranean in one day, Italy's coast guard says

More than 67,000 migrants have arrived in Italy by sea so far this year, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said before the coast guard reported the latest rescues on Tuesday.

An Italian Navy rescue of migrants and refugees off the coast of Libya, on 23 June 2016. Some 5000 people were rescued that day.

An Italian Navy rescue off the coast of Libya, on 23 June. Most boats crossing the Meditteranean this year were setting off from Libya, the International Organisation for Migration said. Photo: AFP / Marina Militare

Arrivals are down from the same period of 2015, but the number of deaths on the perilous route has jumped.

Ten women were found dead in the bottom of a rubber boat last week.

The coast guard said it had coordinated more than 30 rescue operations, which were carried out by its own ship Diciotti, Italian navy ships, and vessels working for EU border agency Frontex and humanitarian organisations.

Giving its latest estimate on Tuesday for the number of people who had crossed the Mediterranean this year, the IOM said most of the boats set off from Libya, followed by Egypt.

- Reuters

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