Baku, July 25, AZERTAC
More than a thousand migrants arrived in Italy within a few hours while hundreds of others, rescued by humanitarian vessels, were waiting for a port to receive them, NGOs and authorities said Sunday, according to France 24.
The influx — while not unusual for the summer months — this year comes as Italy gears up for early elections which could bring the hard right to power.
Between January 1 and July 22, 34,000 people arrived in Italy by sea compared with 25,500 during the same period in 2021 and 10,900 in 2020, Italy’s interior ministry said.
More than 600 people attempting to cross the Mediterranean on board a drifting fishing vessel were rescued on Saturday by a merchant vessel and coastguards off Calabria, at the southern tip of Italy.
They were landed in several ports in Sicily.
The authorities also recovered five bodies of migrants who had died in so far undetermined circumstances.
“The Mediterranean is becoming the biggest cemetery of the desperate,” president of the Sicily region Nello Musumeci said in a statement.
On the island of Lampedusa, some 522 people from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia, among others, arrived from the late hours of Saturday in 15 different boats from Tunisia and Libya.
According to the Italian media, the island’s reception centre has been overwhelmed.
With a capacity of 250-300 people, it currently hosts 1,200, according to the Ansa news agency.
According to La Sicilia daily, the latest arrivals on Lampedusa came both by ships carrying dozens, even hundreds of people, as well as by small inflatable boats.
Four Tunisians, including one woman, ran aground during the night on the beach of Cala Pisana after crossing the stretch of sea separating Tunisia and the Italian island, the daily said.
At the same time, it said that coastguards had intercepted a 13-metre (43-foot) ship which had departed from the northwestern Libyan city of Zawiya with 123 people from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt and Sudan on board.
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