German Navy rescued more than 10,000 refugees in Mediterranean

The German Navy has rescued 10,528 refugees since May in the Mediterranean Sea.

The armed forces said Saturday that more than 539 migrants were rescued off the coast of Libya. They included 505 men, 30 women and four children from three rubber dinghies and one wooden boat.

On Christmas Eve, they brought to safety 121 migrants.

Meanwhile, the Italian coastguard said Saturday on Twitter that 179 people were rescued in two coordinated operations also involving the international humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders.

On Friday, 751 migrants were rescued at sea, the Italian coastguard said.

More than 1 million people have arrived in Europe this year as they escape conflicts and poverty, UN refugee agency UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said this week.

Some 972,500 people entered the continent via the Mediterranean Sea, more than four times as many as last year, the two agencies said.

More than 800,000 migrants came via the Aegean Sea from Turkey into Greece this year, and 150,000 from North Africa to Italy, they said.

Last update: Sat, 26/12/2015 - 17:36

More from Europe

Norway defends prison conditions for mass murderer Breivik

Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik was coping "well" in prison despite the strict regime, a state attorney...

Report: EU anti-terrorism measures discriminate, "strip away" rights

Sweeping counter-terrorism laws introduced by several EU member states are disproportionate and undermine...

Norwegian capital bans diesel vehicles over air pollution

A ban on driving most diesel cars on roads in the Norwegian capital of Oslo went into effect Tuesday in an attempt...

No ban for Germany's far-right NPD, Constitutional Court rules

The Constitutional Court of Germany has rejected a bid by lawmakers to ban the far-right National Democratic Party (...

European Parliament votes for next president

+EU lawmakers will vote for the next president of the European Parliament on Tuesday, seeking a successor to current...