Saturday, December 27, 2014

1,300 Illegal Immigrants Rescued from the Strait of Sicily


ROME – The Italian Navy has rescued a total of 1300 illegal immigrants from flimsy boats in the Strait of Sicily, including a Nigerian woman who gave birth on board the Navy vessel that was bringing her to safety.

On Friday, the Navy indicated around 900 illegal immigrants had been rescued during four operations carried out the previous day in the Strait of Sicily with the cooperation with two commercial ships.

The immigrants were being taken to the Sicilian port of Messina when a Nigerian woman who was among those rescued went into labor.

She and her new baby were attended to by medical staff aboard the Italian frigate Etna before being taken to land with the rest of the immigrants.

Another immigrant who was suspected of carrying malaria was transferred to land by helicopter.

In a separate operation, some 400 illegal immigrants were taken to the Sicilian port of Pozzallo. The Navy noted that one immigrant apparently died during the rescue and transfer missions.

In the framework of “Operation Triton,” under the European Agency for the Management of External Borders, Frontex, vessels from different countries patrol the treacherous waters of the Strait of Sicily, which separates the Italian island from the coast of northern Africa.


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