More than 1,300 migrants rescued at sea, Italy Coastguard says

Some 1,348 migrants were picked up Saturday from the stretch of sea between Sicily and North Africa, the Italian Coastguard said in a statement. 

There were 11 separate rescue operations involving the Italian Coastguard, the European Union naval mission Eunavfor Med, the Malta-based NGO Moas and a private tug boat, the statement said. 

In recent weeks, following the closure of the so-called Balkan route via Turkey and Greece, Italy has become the main entry point for Europe-bound sea migrants. 

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 48,761 people landed on Italian shores in the year to date. The average number of daily arrivals has surged from 176 in January to 643 in May.

Greece has had 158,757 sea migration arrivals over the same period, but the flow has ebbed, the IOM says, calculating that average daily landings have fallen from 2,056 in January to 47 in the last month.

Last update: Sat, 11/06/2016 - 21:09

More from Europe

Report: US and EU make "considerable progress" on TTIP negotiations

The European Union and the United States have made "considerable progress" in negotiating the Transatlantic Trade...

Mediterranean death toll exceeds 200 since January 1, IOM says

At least 219 people have died trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean in the first weeks of 2017, the...

Estonia, Lithuania sign defence deal with US after Trump bashes NATO

Estonia and Lithuania signed bilateral defence agreements with the US, just days after US-president elect Donald...

German artist fined 700 euros for doing push-ups on church altar

A 38-year-old man was fined 700 euros (750 dollars) by a German court on Tuesday for disrupting the practice of...

Putin accuses Obama administration of trying to delegitimize Trump

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that the outgoing US presidential administration of Barack Obama has...