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Hundreds of new migrants arrive on Italian island

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2013-10-04

Some 350 illegal migrants from Tunisia have arrived on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa after a week of poor weather had briefly halted attempts to cross the narrow Mediterranean stretch.

AFP - Nearly 350 Tunisians arrived overnight on the Italian island of Lampedusa, local officials said Wednesday, after a week in which poor weather had interrupted the flow of people fleeing the country.

"Overnight, we escorted a boat with 347 people on board, including four women," said the island's coast guard.
             
The last landing from Tunisia was on February 23, when around 30 would-be immigrants had to be rescued.
             
Since then, poor weather has halted further attempts to cross the narrow stretch of the Mediterranean to reach the European island.
             
The new arrivals were transferred to a reception centre which Italian officials have only recently managed to empty after the last wave of immigrants arrived in February.
             
The wave of immigration follows the revolution in Tunisia that ousted strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January and the wave of popular unrest in Egypt that in February unseated Hosni Mubarak's decades-old regime.
             
In February, Italy declared an emergency and appealed for European help to cope with the surge in arrivals at Lampedusa.
             
The European Union sent experts from its border management agency Frontex to help debrief and interview migrants, with special attention given to identifying those who may be in need of international protection.

 

Date created : 2011-03-02

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