(ANSA) - Rome, April 13 - At least nine people are dead after a migrant boat heading towards Italy capsized some 80 miles from the coast of Libya, ANSA sources said Monday. The Italian coast guard has rescued 144 people and recovered nine bodies. The incident is the latest in a long series of migrant disasters in Mediterranean waters south of Italy.
The Italian coast guard said Monday that it rescued 5,629 migrants in three days between Friday and Sunday.
On Sunday alone the coast guard rescued 22 migrant boats. Italy has seen a sharp increase this year in the already big flow of migrants heading to its coast from North Africa. The authorities here are braced for arrivals to accelerate further now that weather and sea conditions have improved with spring.