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At least 5,000 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean Sea

At least 5,000 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean Sea


The Italian coastguard has said some 5,000 migrants were on Thursday rescued in 43 operations across the Mediterranean Sea mostly from rubber dinghies.

Three wooden boats according to the coastguard, were being used by people traffickers in Libya.

One body was found aboard one of the vessels, authorities said.

A spokesman for the Italian coastguard said it appeared many people had left the Libyan coast hoping to cross the sea to Europe due to good weather.

“We registered a large number of voyages today, after several days of bad weather at sea had stopped people living Libya” AFP quoted the spokesman as saying.

Five Italian navy ships took part in the rescue operations, together with two vessels from the EU’s anti-human smuggling Operation Sophia and four others from humanitarian organisations.

Aid organisation Médécins sans frontières said the people aboard some of the boats were in a “state of panic.”

38-year-old Liberian national Musa Fafani was among a group of people rescued near the Libyan coast.

“I’m very happy because life, our situation in Africa is very difficult. For me, I was in Liberia because of Ebola crisis I lost all my family” he said.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 56,000 people had reached Italy by sea between January and June 19 this year.

Over 2,800 migrants have also lost their lives in the Mediterranean within the similar period.

More than 10,000 people have died in the perilous crossings of the Mediterranean since 2014 according to the UNHCR.