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More than 6,000 migrants rescued from sea off Libya

Published 03/10/2016

Italian coastguard and navy ships participated in the rescues
Italian coastguard and navy ships participated in the rescues

More than 6,000 migrants have been rescued in one day in the Mediterranean off Libya, according to the Italian coastguard.

Nine bodies were recovered and 6,055 people were rescued, officials said.

The coastguard said it co-ordinated 39 rescues on Monday in the sea about 30 miles north of Tripoli.

Smugglers took advantage of the first day of calm seas after days of rough waters to launch vessels crowded with migrants who pay them in the hope of reaching European shores.

Most of the vessels were rubber dinghies, but there were also two rafts.

Doctors Without Borders said the dead included a 23-year-old pregnant woman.

Italian coastguard and navy ships, as well as vessels with European Frontex sea patrols and several humanitarian organisations, participated in the rescues.

Two migrants needing medical care were flown to Sicily's Lampedusa island.

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From Belfast Telegraph