Medical charity Doctors without Borders (MSF) said Sunday it had resumed a migrant rescue mission off the coast of Libya, picking up 308 people on its first day of renewed operations.

In a statement, MSF said the migrants, which included 23 children, were originally rescued by an Italian ship and transferred to its Dignity 1 vessel, which set off from Malta.

The migrants, most of them from Eritrea, were due to be taken to Sicily on Monday.

Over the coming weeks, two more MSF ships will start patrolling the waters north of Libya, said the charity.

The charity had paused its rescue operations around Libya amid a drop in crossings due to harsh winter conditions.

"The absence of a global solution to the current refugee crisis, and the European states' policies of deterrence, as well their refusal to provide alternatives to the deadly sea crossing, continue to kill thousands," MSF International President Joanne Liu said.

MSF ran its first naval rescue mission in the central Mediterranean from May to December 2015, rescuing 23,000 people.

In December, it started another mission to save sea migrants crossing from Turkey to Greece.

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