Italian coastguard officers count some of the illegal immigrants from North Africa
Italian authorities say the navy has intercepted more than 300 illegal immigrants off the southern coast of Sicily.

Officials say they took the migrants Wednesday to a reception center on the island of Lampedusa, where they will join more than 500 others who attempted to illegally land in Italy Tuesday.

Due to overcrowding at the facility, immigration officials say many of the new arrivals will be sent to other reception centers throughout the country to be processed for deportation.

Thousands of migrants, many from Africa and the Middle East, risk the journey across the Mediterranean each year hoping to enter Europe illegally. Italy usually returns the migrants to their home countries.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.