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3000 migrants said rescued off Libya coast Saturday
20 April 2017, 06:26 | Myron Mathis
Image used for representational purpose
Libya remains a major gateway for asylum seekers attempting to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea, with more than 450,000 people having made the crossing over the past three years.
A spokesperson for the service said 19 rescue operations by coastguards or non-governmental organisations had saved a total of 2,074 migrants on 16 rubber dinghies and three small wooden boats.
One person was found dead, the spokesman said.
So far rescuers have pulled 453 people to safety, but were forced to suspend the operation overnight with their rescue vessel the Phoenix running at full capacity.
So far this year, about 29,000 migrants, a lot of them fleeing poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, have arrived in Italy after being rescued by European military ships or private charity organizations. Of that, more than 650 have died.
As weather conditions deteriorated, NGOs urged more vessels to head to the region, with their own already crammed with around 4,500 people picked up from unseaworthy vessels the previous day in 35 operations.
Officials in northern France say an operation to shelter more than 1,000 migrants has ended, five days after the camp they were staying in outside the port city of Dunkirk burned down.
Europe is now experiencing a dire migration crisis, and struggles to accommodate hundreds of thousands of migrants attempting to enter wealthy European Union member states through various routes, including via Turkey, Italy and Greece.
A Somali migrant carries her 12-day-old baby on board a rigid-hulled inflatable boat.
"The sea continues to be a graveyard", MSF said in a Tweet.
Reuters had earlier erroneously reported that 20 people had died. We are where we're needed, what's the #EU doing meanwhile?
A very hard rescue today for the #Aquarius with one teenager found dead in a rubber boat.
The Malta-based Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) in the last 24 hours has rescued over 1500 migrants in the central Mediterranean, according to an MOAS statement on Sunday.
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