Nearly 300 Egyptian and Syrian refugees arrive in Taranto

Includes 47 women and 78 children

(ANSA) - A navy vessel carrying 293 Egyptian and Syrian refugees was due to arrive in the southern port of Taranto on Tuesday afternoon under the controversial joint navy and coastguard rescue-and-surveillance operation Mare Nostrum targeting migrants making the dangerous crossing to Italy by sea.
    The group comprised 168 men, 47 women and 78 children, of whom 8 were travelling without a legal guardian. Over 2,500 migrants have already landed in the Puglia seaport over the last two weeks. Rome launched Mare Nostrum after around 400 people were killed in two migrant-boat disasters in October.
    However the country is struggling to cope with a significant increase in the already big flow of migrants this year and is now calling on the European Union to take charge.


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