Italy Says 19 Boat Migrants Die, Thousands Rescued This Week – Yahoo News

Italy is struggling to keep up with the number of migrant boats this year, which mostly depart from the coast of increasingly unstable Libya, and is seeking more help from the EU in both the rescue mission and in hosting new arrivals. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) estimates that more than 500 migrants have died in the Mediterranean so far this year, compared to 700 during the whole of last year. AGI news agency reported on Saturday that as many as 40 people could be missing after an incident on Friday when a migrant boat capsized near the Libyan coast. The Italian navy could not immediately confirm the report. More than 70,000 migrants have been rescued by Italy’s “Mare Nostrum” or “Our Sea” mission in 2014, the spokesman said, surpassing the previous record of just over 60,000 for the whole of 2011, when the Arab Spring uprisings fueled arrivals. Calmer summer seas have prompted a recent upsurge in boats trying to reach Italy, where immigration centers are overloaded.
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