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Thousands Saved From Mediterranean in Weekend Rescue Effort

3,400 migrants were brought to safety in the Mediterranean over the weekend in a mission coordinated by the Italian coast guard.

African refugees and migrants sail aboard a partially punctured rubber boat on the Mediterranean Sea, about 13 miles North of Sabratha, Libya, Sept. 10.

On Saturday rescuers pulled 2,300 migrants to safety on Saturday in 18 separate rescue operations in the Mediterranean coordinated by the Italian coast guard. Over 1,100 were brought to safety on Sunday during 10 rescue operations.

Santi Palacios / AP

African refugees and migrants react as they wait to be assisted by non-governmental organization members during the rescue operation, Sept 10.

Santi Palacios / AP

A woman and a man from Niger rest, aboard a rescue boat from the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, after they fell into the water from the rubber boat in which they were traveling in, with other refugees and migrants, on the Mediterranean Sea, about 18 miles North of Sabratha, Libya, Sept. 11. The migrants were on board eight boats and two punts, the Italian Coast Guard stated in a press release.

Santi Palacios / AP

Six people float in the water after falling from the rubber boat departing Libya, Sept 11.

Santi Palacios / AP

Two men try to board an inflatable craft, after jumping from the punctured rubber boat on which they were traveling, Sept. 10.

Santi Palacios / AP

Irish soldiers help migrants board their ship about 18 miles North of Sabratha, Libya, Sept. 11.

A Spanish boat belonging to an EU naval force, an Irish navy vessel and boats of four non-governmental organizations were involved in the rescue operations, the coast guard said in a statement.

Santi Palacios / AP

African refugees and migrants wait aboard a rubber boat to be assisted, Sept. 11.

Santi Palacios / AP

African refugees and migrants wait aboard a rubber boat, Sept. 11.

Santi Palacios / AP

A rubber boat used by refugees to leave Libya drifts abandoned after a rescue operation on the Mediterranean sea, Sept. 10.

Since moves to stop people crossing from Turkey to Greece, Europe's worst migrant crisis since World War Two is now focused on Italy, where some 115,000 people had arrived by the end of August, according to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR.

Santi Palacios / AP