100 migrants rescued at sea off Italy

Rome, April 13 (IANS/AKI) Around 100 dehydrated migrants have been rescued by coastguard personnel off southern Italy after an aerial patrol spotted their overladen boat near the island of Lampedusa.

The boat had been at sea for four days and had begun taking on water, coastguards said.

The migrants, whose nationalities were not known, received medical treatment at a hospital in Lampedusa.

Italy’s coast is a common destination for migrants from north Africa, and the number of people-smuggling boats rises in spring and summer.

Activists say thousands die during the dangerous voyage across the Mediterranean as a result of shipwrecks, harsh conditions and lack of food and water.

On March 29, Italian coastguards said they intercepted almost 700 mostly African migrants trying to get to the country onboard 10 rickety boats. One of the boats had migrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

–IANS/AKI

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