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 / Updated  / Source: Reuters
By Claudio Lavanga

ROME — A heavily pregnant woman was among 800 refugees and migrants who were rescued off the Italian island of Sicily after attempting the perilous journey to Europe from North Africa, officials said Friday.

The pregnant woman is seen being taken onto a helicopter and airlifted from a rescue ship on Thursday.Italian Coast Guard

The mom-to-be — who was 9 months pregnant — was airlifted and rushed to hospital in the Sicilian city of Catania on Thursday, according to Italy's coast guard.

A staff member at the hospital told NBC News the expectant mother was in a "stable condition," while declining to give their own name or tell of any other details about the pregnant woman.

The other 800 migrants and refugees — 515 on one boat, 286 on another — were rescued in separate operations and transported to land by sea, the authority added.

More than 1,300 people have died in the Mediterranean Sea trying to reach Europe already this year, according to United Nations figures. More than 7,000 lost their lives while making the journey during 2014 and 2015.

The migrants and refugees rescued Thursday were mainly Syrians and Iraqis who had set off from Egypt for Italy, Reuters reported.

Alexander Smith contributed.