World Bulletin / News Desk
Italy has rescued around 6,000 migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Africa to Europe in the past 4 days, the the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR has claimed.
Risking their lives to cross the rough seas in 40 overcrowded boats, the migrants were intercepted by three Italian navy warships and two coast guard patrol boats, who escorted them to ports in Sicily.
On Friday, the Italian authorities announced that it had saved another 896 migrants in one night alone.
Instability in the Middle-East and Africa has seen a surge in migrants illegally trying to make their way to Europe. Most of the migrants are from countries like Syria, Eritrea, Somalia, Nigeria, Gambia, Mali and Senegal.
In 2013, around 11,300 migrants made it to Italy's shores, with thousands more reaching the shores of Greece and Spain from their departure points in Libya and Morocco. Hundreds of others have not been able to make it across, with over 300 drowning off the coast of Lampedusa in one accident alone.
Far-right groups have been calling to send the migrants back to where they face persecution and poverty, claiming that the migrants are overburdening the already unsteady Italian economy.
Italy has called on the European Union for more help in dealing with asylum seekers, complaining that their ability to handle the situation is already overstretched.Last Mod: 12 Nisan 2014, 14:05