Italian Coastguard: Nearly 1,200 migrants rescued since Tuesday

Some 371 people were picked up in the central Mediterranean Thursday, the Italian Coastguard said, raising to 1,180 the tally of boat migrants rescued over the last three days.

A coastguard vessel picked up 250 people from two dinghies, and another dinghy with 121 on board was intercepted by the EU naval mission Eunavfor Med, the coastguard said on Twitter.

Earlier, the coast guard said 809 migrants were saved in seven rescue operations on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the ANSA news agency said 661 were due to arrive Thursday in the southern Sicilian town of Porto Empedocle.

On Wednesday, another 510 migrants and a body were disembarked at Augusta, another port in eastern Sicily, ANSA said.

The European Union has faced a record inflow of more than 1 million migrants this year, a more than fourfold increase from 2014.

More than 800,000 came via the Aegean Sea from Turkey into Greece, and 150,000 from North Africa to Italy, the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration said Tuesday.

Last update: Thu, 24/12/2015 - 16:25
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