Egyptians and Syrians flee to Italian shores

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Hundreds of Egyptians have been killed in recent unrest. Photo: Mosaab El-Shamy/AFP
15:48 CEST+02:00
Three boats carrying more than 200 migrants have landed in Italy, officials said on Monday, the latest arrivals due to unrest in north Africa and calmer weather conditions.

Some 100 people including 17 women and 11 children arrived on one boat that was intercepted by coast guard vessels and taken to Catania in Sicily.

The migrants said they were from Syria and Egypt.

"Some of us are escaping from Egypt because there are people who lost relatives after the fall of (deposed Islamist president Mohamed) Morsi," one migrant was quoted as saying by Italian news agency ANSA.

The migrant said their journey had lasted seven days.

Seventy-seven migrants - who said they were from Nigeria and Ghana - arrived on another boat, a small dinghy, which was intercepted and taken to the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa earlier on Monday.

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Italian police also said they had found 15 more migrants on the coast in Sicily - part of a group of around 30 that landed overnight on a third vessel.

Almost 800 people have died in days of clashes between Morsi supporters and security forces throughout Egypt, where authorities last week launched a bloody crackdown on demonstrators protesting his July 3rd ousting by the army.

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