Patrol helicopters identified the overcrowded rafts on Wednesday and four navy vessels participated in the rescue which ended early on Thursday, a statement said. The navy gave no details about the nationalities of the migrants.
Italy is a major gateway into Europe for migrants, and sea arrivals more than tripled in 2013 from the previous year, fuelled by Syria’s civil war and strife in the Horn of Africa.
In October, 366 Eritreans drowned in a shipwreck near the shore of the Italian island of Lampedusa, which is located about halfway between Sicily and Tunisia. More than 200, mostly Syrians, died in another shipwreck a week later.
Over the past two decades, Italy, Greece and the Mediterranean island of Malta have borne the brunt of migrant flows and have urged the EU to make a more robust and coordinated response.
— Phuket Gazette Editors
Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.
Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.
Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.