Italy rescues thousands of migrants over weekend
May 4 , 2015
Italy’s coastguard and navy have rescued around 5,500 migrants over the weekend in one of the largest such coordinated operations in the region as smugglers continue to push more people on overcrowded boats to Europe from the Mediterranean route.
More than 3,400 people were rescued from rubber dinghies and wooden boats in 16 operations near the Libyan coast. Another 778 migrants were rescued south of Italy’s Lampedusa island.
A spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration said that the boats on which migrants are forced to travel are “rundown and dangerous.”