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Italy rescues 159 boat migrants including newborn baby

At least 159 migrants including Syrians, Afghan and Egyptians were rescued by the Italian coast guard

AFP, Saturday 15 Jun 2013
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The Italian coast guard has rescued 159 Syrian, Afghan and Egyptian migrants from a boat in the sea off Calabria, including a newborn baby and seven children, Italian media said Saturday.

The alarm was sounded just before midnight on Friday after a boat, which is believed to have set off from Turkey a few days ago, was reported to be in trouble off the coast near Roccella Jonica in southern Italy.

Four of the migrants were hospitalised for dehydration while the others, including 14 women, were put up in temporary accommodation in the town's elementary school, according to local mayor Giuseppe Certoma.

Certoma said the town would adopt the baby girl, who was born during the crossing, "as if she was our daughter."

"We have to see if she was born in international or Italian waters, but if she was born in Italian waters we will register her. The important thing is that she is healthy," he said.

Good weather has raised fears of increased numbers of immigrants trying to reach Italy by sea.

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