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Hundreds of migrants moved from Lampedusa as more arrive

More than 1,100 transferred to Sicily and mainland

17 August, 13:32
Hundreds of migrants moved from Lampedusa as more arrive (ANSA) - Lampedusa, August 17 - A boat carrying 312 migrants from Libya landed overnight on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.

Police rescued the migrants, most of whom were believed to be from sub-Saharan Africa and included 59 women and four children, and helped them into shore.

The boatload of refugees was the latest in a wave of 2,600 new arrivals who have landed on the island since the weekend.

Meanwhile operations were underway in the city of Taranto in the southern region of Puglia to transfer hundreds of migrants.

More than 600 migrants were transferred on the boat, Moby Fantasy, from Lampedusa to the Manduria migrant reception centre in Taranto, while another 200 passengers were moved to the Campochiaro reception centre in Campobasso in the region of Molise.

The boat left Lampedusa three days ago and 334 of the migrants were taken to a migrant centre in the eastern Sicilian city of Catania before the boat continued to the mainland.

Another 102 migrants, from Nigeria, Somalia and several other African countries, on Wednesday were transferred from Lampedusa to the Sardinian port of Cagliari.

More than 50,000 undocumented migrants have travelled by boat from North Africa to Italy since the beginning of the year, many of them fleeing political upheaval in Tunisia and military conflict in Libya.

The reception facilities on Lampedusa, which is closer to Africa than to Sicily, have been overwhelmed by the influx and the Italian government has had to ship migrants out after protests.

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