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Over 2,500 migrants rescued off Italy over weekend

13 June 2016, MVT 11:33
Migrants protect themselves from the cold with blankets as they wait to arrive in the port of Cagliari, Sardinia, on May 26, 2016 aboard the rescue ship "Aquarius", two day after their rescue off the Libyan coasts. / AFP PHOTO
13 June 2016, MVT 11:33

More than 2,500 migrants seeking to reach Europe were rescued off the coast of Sicily over the weekend in 20 separate operations, the Italian coastguard said Sunday.

Vessels from the Italian navy and coastguard took part in rescue operations, along with ships from volunteer and aid groups. Medical charity Doctors Without Borders said it had recovered one dead body from one of the migrant boats.

Authorities said 1,348 migrants were picked up Saturday and 1,230 on Sunday.

So far this year more than 48,000 people have been brought to the Italian coast after being pulled from boats trying to cross from Libya, according to the UN refugee agency.

With the return of the good weather the rescue operations are expected to increase. For the time being the numbers arriving are similar to those seen last year and in 2014.

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