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About 800 Migrants Rescued at Sea Brought to Sicily

A child holding a teddy bear disembarks from the Norwegian cargo ship Siem Pilot after being rescued in the Mediterranean Sea, at Palermo harbor, Italy, July 25, 2015.

Around 800 migrants rescued from boats while trying to cross the Mediterranean have been taken to Sicily.

Most of the migrants – mainly from Sudan, Eritrea and Syria – were taken to port Saturday aboard the Norwegian vessel Siem Pilot, which is participating in the European Union rescue efforts in the Mediterranean.

Several women and children were among the migrants, who were given bags containing snacks and drinks as they lined up for standard identification and health checks at the port.

Another group was taken to the southeastern Sicilian town of Pozzallo aboard the Irish navy patrol ship Le Niamh.

The latest arrivals come just days after about 40 African migrants were reported to have drowned at sea after their inflatable boat sank near the Libyan coast Thursday.

All the dead came from sub-Saharan countries such as Senegal, Mali and Benin, the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said.

More than 1,900 migrants have died this year while making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe, out of about 150,000 people who have made the crossing, the International Organization for Migration said earlier this month.

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