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EU says migrant traffic down as 800 rescued in one day

Friday, May 13, 2016 - 01:20

The U.N. calls the rescue of 801 migrants off of Sicily the largest single mass migration of its kind in over a year, as the EU says migrant traffic into Greece, a main point of entry, is down recently by a whopping 90 percent. Mana Rabiee reports.

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The same day the EU claims a 90 percent reduction in Greece migrant arrivals.... this.... ...a single mass migration the U.N. calls the largest of its kind in over a year. More than 800 migrants plucked from only two boats -- brought into Sicily by Italy's coast guard after their rescue the day before from rusty fishing boats. U.N. spokesperson Carlotta Sami says they include minors, as young as 12, traveling alone. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNHCR SPOKESPERSON FOR SOUTHERN EUROPE, CARLOTTA SAMI, SAYING: "The route is very long, it is very risky and these people, including many families with babies have been adrift at sea for many days, up to a week." An E.U. deal with Turkey to control migrant traffic into Greece appears to be working. The E.U.'s border agency says traffic into ITALY was also recently down, although by just 13 percent . It says there's no sign migrants are simply avoiding the Turkey-Greece route by opting for the longer -- more dangerous - trek to Italy. But the Oslo-based Norwegian Refugee Council, disputes that claim. It says this latest interception might be the "first sign" that refugees ARE choosing the Italian route. And if it continues, the E.U. deal has not only 'failed' -- but could result in more migrant deaths at sea.

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EU says migrant traffic down as 800 rescued in one day

Friday, May 13, 2016 - 01:20