Almost 1,500 migrants rescued from Italian waters

Some 1,477 migrants disembarked from an Italian coast guard ship in Augusta, Sicily on Monday (March 20) after being rescued from the Mediterranean Sea.

The migrants had been rescued on Sunday (March 19) in seven different operations, all involving different sized boats, the coastguard said. 747 had been rescued from one boat alone.

One of the migrants was carried off the ship to be taken to hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds. A communications official from the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, at the port of Augusta said there were at least 600 unaccompanied minors believed to be on the ship, in a worrying trend that began in 2016.

In total, rescuers picked up about 3,300 migrants from rubber boats off the coast of Libya on Sunday (March 19). Boat arrivals to Italy have surged about 50 percent compared to the same period last year.


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