Over 640 boat migrants arrive in Sicily
Catania (Italy), Nov 24 (IANS/AKI) A total of 641 migrants including 95 minors and pregnant women reached the Sicilian port of Catania on Thursday after they were rescued from the Mediterranean, Italian coastguard reported.
There were 146 women aboard the rescue ship or whom 12 were pregnant and 85 of the minors were unaccompanied. Two children under the age of five were among the minors.
The rescued migrants arrived in Catania aboard the Sos Mediterranee charity’s ship ‘Aquarius’.
The migrants were among 1,397 saved on Wednesday in several rescue operations coordinated by Italian coastguard.
Earlier on Thursday, 405 migrants including many women and children arrived in the Sicilian port city of Trapani after they were rescued overnight in the Strait of Sicily, coastguard said.
Over 345,000 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea in this year as of November 20, arriving mostly in Greece and Italy, according to the International Organisation for Migration.
Some 171,264 people have arrived in Greece and 168,542 in Italy during 2016. While the total is well below the number of arrivals at the same point of 2015, the numbers reaching Italy from North Africa has risen over 17 percent compared with the same period last year, IOM said.