Italian authorities say at least 400 illegal immigrants have arrived in southern Italy after traveling from Africa on three crowded boats.
Officials say the migrants landed on the small Mediterranean island of Lampedusa during the weekend. It was the first mass arrival in two months, after poor weather prevented people from crossing the Strait of Sicily.
Lampedusa, which is halfway between Sicily and the north African coast, is an increasingly popular destination for migrants from Africa hoping to enter Europe illegally.
Italy has adopted a strict policy of returning would-be immigrants to Libya, with which is has an agreement to accept and repatriate those who come from Africa and the Middle East.
Some information for this report provided by Reuters.