World Bulletin/News Desk
Italian coastguards rescued more than 350 African migrants off the small Italian island of Lampedusa over the weekend as they tried to reach European shores on rickety wooden boats, a coastguard official told Reuters on Sunday.
Last year tens of thousands of refugees and would-be migrants arrived in Lampedusa during the upheavals in North Africa, setting off a crisis that threatened to overwhelm the tiny island, but the flow has eased this year.
Coastguards rescued 231 people from sub-Saharan Africa on Saturday from a 15 metre wooden boat, including 33 women and four children, a coastguard official said.
Later on Saturday coastguards launched another rescue operation, this time involving 126 Tunisians who were on board a 10-metre-long wooden boat, the official said.
The migrants were taken to a reception centre on the island and were going through an identification process and screening to see if they had rights to asylum, he said.
Italy has borne the brunt of a wave of clandestine seaborne migration from Africa to southern Europe that has reached crisis proportions at times in the past few years.
Most migrants risk the dangerous voyage across the Mediterranean Sea in small, overcrowded fishing boats, and thousands have died as a result of shipwreck, harsh conditions at sea or lack of food and water.
Lampedusa lies south of Sicily and about 130 km (80 miles) east of Tunisia, the closest point on the north African coast.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the agreement was reached at a fresh talks between the two sides.
‘I won’t negotiate over Al-Aqsa Mosque,’ resistance icon Raed Salah declares after release from prison
Jammeh argues state of emergency will prevent constitutional crisis and avoid power vacuum
Foreign minister says inviting representatives of new US administration to Astana would be a "right" decision
Sheikh Raed Salah was imprisoned last year after Israeli court found him guilty of ‘inciting violence’
Seven months after the referendum to leave the EU, Brexit "still has not been formalised," said Frank-Walter Steinmeier in a statement.
Federal judges say NPD does not have potential to realize its anti-constitutional aims
Northern Cyprus economy minister says equal representation, presence of Turkish soldiers remain barriers to agreement
As Gambian president tries to cling to power, more ministers resign, flee to Senegal
The vote for the new chief of the EU's only elected assembly will be closely watched in European capitals, including London, as it the parliament that will have a final say on any eventual Brexit deal.
Abdelhakim Belhaj, a former fighter, later became Tripoli's military commander after Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi was ousted in 2011.
- ACT Airlines cargo flight from Hong Kong to Istanbul via Bishkek crashed on Monday
Center-left group leader quits, leaves path open for Italian head of center-right European People’s Party
U.S. Secretary of State critical of President-elect's media comments
Since 2013, more than 16,000 children have been recruited as soldiers, says UNICEF
According to a family statement released by NASA, Cernan, a retired naval officer, died following ongoing health issues.