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Italy coastguard rescues almost 500 North African migrants

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 - 00:35

Apr. 11 - The Italian coastguard rescues 469 migrants from North Africa found off the island of Lampedusa, bringing the total to more than 500 over the last two days. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)

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Italian coastguards said on Thursday that they had rescued 469 migrantsfrom North Africa off the tiny Mediterranean island of Lampedusa in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total to more than 500 in the last two days. Video released by the coastguards showed officials wearing surgical gloves helping the migrants off a rescue vessel to the harbour. A statement released with the imagery said the 469 were rescued during the course of five operations. The migrants included 84 people of Somali origin including 16 women -- four of them pregnant. One man and one woman were hospitalised. Thursday's operations came after an earlier influx of 90 migrants including 20 women, one of them pregnant, who had been plucked by a passing freighter from a 10-metre rubber dinghy that measured barely 10 metres, the coastguard said. Italy's coast is a common destination for migrants from north and sub-Saharan Africa. Thousands have died in recent years during the risky voyage across the Mediterranean as a result of shipwreck, harsh conditions and a lack of food and water, activists say.

Italy coastguard rescues almost 500 North African migrants

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 - 00:35

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