Thousands of migrants rescued off North Africa

Thousands of migrants rescued off North Africa

Thousands of migrants rescued off North Africa

Around 5,600 boat migrants have been rescued off the North Coast of African in the past three days as people continue their desperate mission to flee the troubled countries in the region.

At least nine people were killed when an overcrowded vessel capsized off Libya’s coast on Monday and a further 144 were rescued by the Italian coastguard after yet another busy weekend for rescue services in the region.

An Italian coastguard spokesman said that 5,629 migrants were rescued from 22 boats between Friday and Sunday, and aircraft and vessels from the coastguard and navy, merchant boats and an Icelandic patrol ship involved in a European Triton border protection mission were all called upon.

On Sunday, rescued services were called out about a vessel that capsized around 80 miles off Libya’s coast. Nine dead bodies were recovered from the water and taken back to Italy.

The number of vessels carrying migrants fleeing the Libyan and Syrian conflicts, among others in the region, has escalated in recent weeks as the weather has improved. Most boats depart from Libya, with the favoured destination usually Sicily.

More than 300 people drowned in February when trying to cross in rough waters, while 480 migrants lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea between January and March, compared with less than 50 for the same period last year, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

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