Italian Navy to rescue 207 migrants at sea

Boats adrift 100 miles off island pope visited

Italian Navy to rescue 207 migrants at sea

Rome, July 10 - Two boats carrying 207 immigrants were located by the Italian Navy on Wednesday in the Sicilian strait some 100 miles off the tiny Lampedusa island. Some 167 people are believed to be on one boat while the other is carrying 42 migrants, the Navy said. A Navy patrol ship is reportedly on its way to rescue the migrants together with two Coast Guard cutters and a towboat. Lampedusa, which Pope Francis visited on Monday in his first trip away from the Vatican, is a main point of entry for immigrants trying to reach Italy from North Africa. Arrivals pick up in the summer months when weather conditions improve but many die while attempting the crossing, often crowded in unsafe vessels. According to the Italian Council for Refugees (CIR) more than 18,000 migrants have died in the Mediterranean over the last 15 years.

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