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Italy, NATO Search for Migrants in Mediterranean

A view of the immigrant shelter in Lampedusa, the tiny Italian island close to North Africa, taken Monday, April 11, 2011.
Italian and NATO rescue crews have saved dozens of migrants after their boat ran into trouble in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of an Italian island.

Italian officials say 54 people had been rescued by early Friday near the island of Lampedusa.

Authorities say some of the migrants were pulled from the sea, while others managed to swim to a small islet.

Survivors say about 100 people, apparently Tunisian, were aboard the ship.

Each year thousands of illegal migrants, mostly from Africa, cross the Mediterranean Sea in overcrowded and makeshift boats to land in Lampedusa, seeking to enter Europe.