At least 1,300 migrants saved off Italy at Christmas
ROME - Agence France-Presse
In this photo taken on Dec. 4 provided by the Italian Navy, a rescue crew on a dinghy approaches migrants on a boat some 65 kilometers from the Libyan capital, Tripoli. AP PhotoThe Italian Navy rescued some 1,300 migrants in several operations late on Christmas Day, among them a Nigerian woman who gave birth on board one of the rescue vessels, local media said Dec. 26.
The majority of the migrants were on boats adrift off the coast of Sicily and were expected to be brought ashore later Dec. 26.
Italian media said one man was found dead on board one of the boats.
At least another 1,000 migrants were also rescued by the Italian Navy on Christmas Eve.
Italy has been struggling to cope this year with a massive jump in the number of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe, the majority of them from war-wracked Syria or Eritrea.
According to the Interior Ministry, 167,462 migrants have arrived in Italy by sea since the start of the year through to December 17.