Thousands of migrants rescued in 3 days in Mediterranean

Remigio Civitarese
Апреля 18, 2017

As weather conditions deteriorated, NGOs urged more vessels to head to the region, with their own already crammed with around 4,500 people picked up from unseaworthy vessels the previous day in 35 operations.

Police said Sunday that the three were "members of a human traffickers' network" and that 13 of the migrants they were holding were fellow Pakistanis, three of them minors.

The rest of the migrants were due to reach Calabria on the Italian mainland on Sunday. The Mare Nostrum project cost Italian taxpayers €9 million ($9.5 million) a month, according to the Italian Navy. It said another 15 operations would be underway before nightfall.

MSF used its two ship - Aquarius and Prudence - to rescue about 1,000 people in nine boats but video footage showed chaotic scenes as migrants clung on to rafts or slipped into the water.

In the central Mediterranean, it said there had been 2,074 rescues conducted by "various search-and-rescue (SAR) assets on Friday, including 134 rescued by the Phoenix". Find us on Facebook too!

More than 2,000 asylum seekers trying to reach Europe were plucked from the Mediterranean on Friday in a series of dramatic rescues.

Frontex has been contacted for comment. "We know exactly what will happen if we are not out there". It is not known how many died before they were sighted. "We are where we're needed, what's the European Union doing meanwhile?"

Those frustrations are echoed by the other NGOs, with numerous rescue operators tweeting accusations directly against the European Union and Frontex.

These figures suggested a 30 per cent increase in migrant arrivals compared to the same period in 2016.

Italian Coast Guard organized a rescue operation over Easter weekend to save those spilling off crowded boats and stranded at sea.

A crewman of the Malta-based NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) ship Phoenix tends to an unconscious migrant. "We need help by #MRCC" the Jugend Rettet tweeted.

The IOM said in a statement that its employees in Libya and Niger were able to collect "shocking" witnesses of migrants who spoke about the existence of "slave markets" where hundreds of men and women were sold in public squares or warehouses.

One person was found dead, the spokesman said. "Hour 40 of ongoing rescues & crisis management for #Phoenix crew. We agree. Where are Frontex boats in a day like this?" 20 were found dead in a dinghy.

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