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VIDEO: Syrian baby born after refugee sea rescue

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The pregnant Syrian woman is carried onto a cruise ship. Screenshot: Comando Generale della Guardia di Finanza
13:07 CEST+02:00
Italian authorities have released a dramatic video showing the rescue of 158 Syrian refugees off the coast of Sicily, including a heavily pregnant woman who gave birth shortly after arriving.

In need of emergency treatment, the pregnant woman was taken to the nearby Crown Princess cruise ship to be seen by the doctors on-board. She was then airlifted to the Sicilian city of Catania where she gave birth to a baby girl, Italian authorities said.

The boat carrying 44 children, 20 women and 94 men was spotted last night around 100 miles off the coast of Sicily. A naval plane then guided the boat and the Italian coast guard helped transfer the refugees to two naval ships and onward to the port of Syracuse.

A video of the rescue shows members of the Italian coastguard helping the refugees, including a number of young children, off the rickety boat. The coast guard then pilots a rescue boat to the cruise ship, where doctors rush to the aid of the pregnant woman. The video shows the Syrian woman being put on a stretcher and carried to the cruise ship by ten crew, while the other refugees are given food.

The rescue marks the latest in a wave of boat migrants to Italy. On Friday the UN refugee agency said that 3,300 Syrians have arrived in Italy by boat in recent weeks, fleeing a civil war which has raged for more than two years.

Watch the video of the rescue: 

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