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Over 1,100 migrants rescued off Italy’s coasts over 24 hours

Over 1,100 migrants and refugees including 121 non-accompanied children were rescued off Italy’s southern coasts over 24 hours, local media said on Saturday.

Some 145 people were saved during the night while sailing aboard three boats that had departed from the Libyan ports of Zuara and Tajoura, according to state-run Rai News 24 channel. And the other 797 migrants were rescued in previous operations in the southern Mediterranean Sea.

Among them were mainly Bengalis, Egyptians, and Syrian and Palestinian nationals, Ansa news agency reported.

Over the past 24 hours, dozens of other migrants also arrived at different ports in Sicily, including those in Pantelleria, Marettimo and Mazara del Vallo.

The improving sea and weather conditions were believed to have sparked the recent surge in maritime arrivals in southern Italy in the last few days.

The latest migrant boats all departed from either Libyan or Tunisian ports and crossed the perilous waters of the southern Mediterranean Sea, according to local media reports.

By April 4, 12,991 people have arrived in Italy by sea, down from the 28,342 in the same period of last year, the Interior Ministry has said.

And according to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, Italy registered 157,661 sea arrivals in 2023. ■

Famagusta Gazette