70 mi­grants reach Ital­ian is­land of Lampe­dusa

Oman Daily Observer - - WORLD -

ROME: Some 70 mi­grants made it to the Ital­ian is­land of Lampe­dusa af­ter a Tu­nisian fish­ing boat dis­cov­ered their ves­sel 29 kilo­me­tres off land, the Ital­ian coast­guard said.

The coast­guard said Malta should have been re­spon­si­ble for the res­cue op­er­a­tion, but the peo­ple in boat were taken to Lampe­dusa, ac­cord­ing to nu­mer­ous me­dia re­ports on Satur­day.

Whether the Ital­ian coast­guard res­cued the peo­ple on­board or sim­ply es­corted the boat into har­bour re­mains un­clear.

“Sev­enty peo­ple had their lives saved by the Ital­ian coast­guard and are safe in the har­bour of Lampe­dusa,” the NGO Mediter­ranea, which op­er­ates an ob­ser­va­tion ship in the Mediter­ranean sea, tweeted early on Satur­day.

Those on the boat were from Eritrea, Ghana and Syria, and had been on­board for around 35 hours, ac­cord­ing to Ital­ian news agency Ansa.

Ever since Ital­ian In­te­rior Min­is­ter Mat­teo Salvini im­ple­mented a rig­or­ous anti-mi­gra­tion pol­icy, very few mi­grants have been able to make it to the coun­try. So far in Oc­to­ber, some 400 peo­ple have ar­rived, ac­cord­ing to the In­te­rior Min­istry.

In Athens, eleven mi­grants trav­el­ling from Turkey to Greece were killed when their minibus col­lided head-on with a lorry near the Greek port city of Kavala, state broad­caster ERA re­ported on Satur­day.

Three mi­nors were among those killed in the fiery crash, the cause of which was not ini­tially clear. The driver of the truck is re­ported to have sur­vived with light in­juries.

Greece re­ports near daily ar­rests of smug­glers car­ry­ing mi­grants from the Turk­ish bor­der. In the first nine months of the year, 12,000 mi­grants came to Greece via this land route, of­fi­cial fig­ures show. — dpa

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