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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.
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.
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.
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.