Italy rescues over 3300 refugees

  • 27/06/2016
Italy rescues over 3300 refugees

Italian coastguard and navy ships rescued over 3300 migrants in 26 separate operations in the Mediterranean over the weekend, a spokesperson for the Italian navy told Reuters.

The people were picked up from 25 dinghies and one boat, all north of the Libyan coast, the Coast Guard said in a separate statement on Sunday.

The navy spokesperson said one adult was found dead and another four injured migrants were transported by helicopter to the nearest hospital, on the island of Lampedusa.

Italy is on the front line of Europe's worst immigration crisis since World War II, with little sign of any slowdown in the flow of people coming from North Africa.

About 60,000 boat migrants have been brought to Italy so far this year, according to the Interior Ministry.

On Friday ship crews rescued more than 2000 people from overcrowded boats.

Improved weather conditions in the Mediterranean encourage more migrants and their human smugglers to attempt the crossing despite the dangers involved.

More than 3700 migrants died in the Mediterranean last year, according to the International Organisation for Migration.