VIDEO: Italy Coast Guard Rescued 117 Migrants

Sun Jun 26, 2016 18:30:16

The Italian Navy pulled 117 migrants from overcrowded inflatable dinghies in the Mediterranean on Saturday (June 25), the military said, amid a surge in people smuggling across the sea, Al-Alam News Network reported.

More than 7,100 people have been plucked from international waters since Thursday (June 23) as calm seas have returned to the region.

Video released by the navy on Sunday (June 26) shows the rescue off the Libyan coast, which included 23 women.

All of the migrants were safely transferred to a coast guard vessel for transport to Italy, the military said.

About 60,000 boat migrants have been brought to Italy so far this year, according to the Interior Ministry.

An agreement between Turkey and the European Union to stop migrant departures for the Greek islands has reduced boat arrivals by 98 percent during the first five months of the year from the same period of 2015, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

But arrivals in Italy continue at about the same clip as last year, the IOM has said, and the deadly central Mediterranean route has already claimed some 2,400 lives.

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