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Migrants rescued near Lampedusa as others transferred

More than 1,000 moved to mainland centres

19 August, 12:52
Migrants rescued near Lampedusa as others transferred (ANSA) - Lampedusa, August 19 - Italian Coast Guard officials on Friday rescued 111 immigrants 20 nautical miles off the coast of the southern island of Lampedusa.

The boat was spotted near the tiny island of Lampione by the crew of a Tunisian fishing boat who notified the Coast Guard.

The migrants are believed to have departed from the Tunisian coast to cross the Mediterranean.

Meanwhile more than 1,000 migrants were being transferred by ship from Lampedusa to other Italian migrant reception centres.

A total of 456 migrants who landed in Lampedusa in the past few days were transferred by boat to the northern port of Genoa on Friday.

Police and port officals moved the migrants onto buses that were expected to take them to other towns in the country's north.

On Thursday around 1,570 migrants were at the Lampedusa centre after several boat arrivals swelled numbers in the past week. More than 50,000 undocumented migrants have travelled by boat from North Africa to Italy since January, as many of them fled 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 this week has shipped migrants to centres in Sicily, Sardinia and Puglia.

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