ROME - As many as 30 migrants were found dead on a boat packed with people off the coast of Sicily, as Italy's navy rescued thousands more trying to cross from North Africa over the weekend. The dead are thought to have either drowned or suffocated on the overcrowded fishing vessel, authorities said.
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The discovery on Sunday underlined the scale of the crisis in the waters of the southern Mediterranean, where hundreds have died making the perilous journey to Europe, and tens of thousands more have been plucked from rickety boats. More than 5,000 people were rescued this weekend, adding to the 50,000 migrants who have reached Italy from North Africa so far this year, many fleeing war and forced conscription.