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Italy Intercepts Over 5,000 Migrants at Sea

  • VOA News

This handout picture released by the Italian Navy on June 6, 2014 shows migrants on boats being arrested and rescued by the Italian army off the coast of Sicily. The Italian navy on June 6 said it had rescued around 2,500 asylum-seekers in the Mediterranean.

This handout picture released by the Italian Navy on June 6, 2014 shows migrants on boats being arrested and rescued by the Italian army off the coast of Sicily. The Italian navy on June 6 said it had rescued around 2,500 asylum-seekers in the Mediterranean.

Italian naval authorities say they intercepted more than 5,000 migrants from boats in the Mediterranean over the weekend.

Video released Monday shows the Italian navy rescuing migrants from small, open-top boats that were tightly packed with men, women and children.

On Saturday, the U.S. Navy rescued more than 280 migrants in the Mediterranean, some of whom were on a boat that was sinking.

Italy says more than 40,000 migrants, mostly from Africa and the Middle East, have reached its shores this year - a number that tops the total for all of 2013.

Officials in Sicily, where most of the migrants are taken, say they can no longer cope with the influx and have called on the European Union to provide more support.
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