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Two corpses on migrant boat rescued near Lampedusa

Over 120 people saved by merchant ship

18 February, 11:54
Two corpses on migrant boat rescued near Lampedusa (ANSA) - Rome, February 18 - Two corpses were aboard a migrant boat that was rescued by a merchant ship some 145 miles south-west of the Sicilian island of Lampedusa on Monday, the Italian authorities said Tuesday.

The merchant ship was told to move to the area of the boat in trouble by Italian coast guards after they received telephone calls for help from migrants aboard.

In addition to the two dead male migrants, 107 men and 16 women were aboard the boat.

They are now being taken to the Sicilian port of Augusta aboard the merchant ship.

Italian authorities rescued over 1,000 people at sea between Saturday and Monday after the end of a period of bad weather led to a resumption of migrant crossings.

Tens of thousands of migrants arrive in Italy from North Africa every year and many others die attempting the crossing in often rickety vessels.

In October around 400 people died in two separate migrant-boat disasters near to the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, which is often the migrants' first port of call.