Numerous Migrants Reach Lampedusa, Italy’s Island

As calm returns to the seas, migrant smugglers launched dozens of boats from Tunisia over the weekend, bringing hundreds of their passengers to the small Italian island.

Italian news reports said a body had been found in one of the boats, and survivors of two rescues said 23 people were missing.

Dozens of migrants sat outside the port of Lampedusa Monday morning, waiting to be taken to an overcrowded shelter on an island, or in Sicily, or on the Italian mainland.

And the Italian news agency (ANSA) reported that earlier on Monday, a fishing boat off the island of Lampedusa helped a migrant boat carrying 34 people and bodies.

She pointed out that survivors have told rescuers that about 20 other passengers have been missing since they departed from the Tunisian port on Saturday evening.

Hours later, the Italian Coast Guard rescued 42 migrants from a sinking boat off Lampedusa after it left Tunisia on Saturday evening, according to ANSA. Survivors told rescuers that 3 people were missing.

A total of 640 migrants arrived in Lampedusa on Sunday, with 179 migrants disembarking from four boats early Monday morning.

The Italian Coast Guard attacked the migrants as they approached the island.

Some 36,000 immigrants have arrived in Italy since the beginning of the year as of last Friday, more than four times the number of arrivals in the same period in each of the previous two years, according to statistics from the Italian Ministry of the Interior.

Source: AB

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