Hundreds of migrants rescued off Lampedusa

Hundreds of migrants rescued off Lampedusa
A boat full of migrants arriving on Lampedusa. Photo: Italian coast guard press office/AFP
Italy's coastguard on Friday said it had rescued 213 migrants packed onto two large dinghies, bringing to 650 the total number to have landed on the southern island of Lampedusa in recent days.

"The improved weather conditions expected in the coming days could encourage more departures of migrants from North African shores," the coastguard said in a statement.

One of the two dinghies had 113 African migrants on board including four women and was in trouble when it was first spotted in Maltese waters.

The other measured 10 metres (33 feet) in length and had 100 people on board, the coast guard said.

Italian authorities were not able to specify the nationalities of the migrants or the country they were sailing from. Many come on boats from Libya but are migrant workers from other parts of Africa.

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