Almost 6800 migrants were rescued off the coast of Libya since Friday.
After the many migrant deaths in the Mediterranean in recent weeks and European Governments’ decisions to strengthen border controls and destroy smugglers’ boats, but not restart rescue operations, migration continues and the Italian Coastguard are the ones rescuing those in distress.
As calm weather conditions meant that more people tried to cross the Mediterranean, the Italian coastguard rescued a total of 3,690 migrants from seven wooden boats and nine rubber dinghies off the coast of Libya on Saturday, in 16 separate operations. A further 2,861 people were rescued on Sunday and 220 on Friday. Some of the boats had a capacity of fewer than 20 passengers, a coastguard source said.
As many as ten migrants were reported to have died during the mission.
At least 1750 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean since the start of this year, more than 20 times in the same period last year.
The flow of people rushing to Europe has accelerated after nearly 900 people drowned in the Mediterranean two weeks earlier.