The Italian Navy and Coast Guard saved more than 2000 migrants in a major rescue operation conducted yesterday.
A total of 2,164 migrants, traveling from the Libyan coast, were rescued from a dozen boats near the island of Lampedusa, according to The Guardian.
Some of the Italian coastguards were threatened by four armed men who forced them to return one of the boats in which the migrants were transported.
AFP news agency said that a plane, four coastguard ships, two tugboats and a navy vessel were part of this operation.
On Friday, the Italian Coast Guard, together with merchant vessels, rescued some 600 migrants traveling aboard six dinghies off the Libyan coast, the Business Insider reports.
A major tragedy marked last week when more than 300 migrants lost their lives trying to reach the Italian coast. They were crowded on rubber dinghies and died due to rough weather conditions in the Mediterranean Sea. These tragic events show the limits of EU’s operation Triton, which was introduced as a replacement to Italian Navy’s costly Mare Nostrum search and rescue efforts.
The crossing between North Africa and Italy is described by the United Nations as the most dangerous route in the world.
Naval Today Staff, Image: Italian Navy