ROME (The Washington Post) — In dramatic sea rescues north of Libya, a flotilla of ships saved more than 1,000 migrants and refugees, while 10 migrants perished in the southern Mediterranean, Italian officials said Wednesday.
Rescue vessels, including from Italy’s coast guard and navy, and three cargo ships saved 941 people in seven separate operations that began Tuesday, Italy’s coast guard said. On Wednesday, the coast guard and two cargo ships rescued 94 migrants whose motorized dinghy was in distress 40 miles (65 kms) north of Libya, the coast guard said.
Survivors were ferried to southern Italian ports. The migrants rescued Tuesday had been aboard five motorized dinghies and two larger vessels. One of the larger boats capsized, and 10 bodies were spotted or plucked from the sea.
For months now, hundreds — sometimes thousands — of migrants fleeing conflicts or poverty have been reaching Italy practically weekly on smugglers’ boats setting sail from Libya.