Migrants from Libya arrive on Italian island

AFP , Sunday 14 Aug 2011

In the latest wave of migrations to Europe which have reached 11,000 since the start of the year, 1,600 migrants from north African reach Lampedusa

Some 1,600 migrants from north Africa have arrived on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa this weekend, ANSA news agency reported Sunday.

About 100 women and 40 children including three babies were among those who reached the island between Saturday morning and Sunday morning on a dozen boats.

Coast guards spotted two more boats Sunday carrying several hundred migrants between seven and 50 miles off Lampedusa's southern coast.

In southwestern Sardinia two boats carrying 45 men, one woman and two children landed overnight Saturday.

Since the start of the year, more than 11,000 Africans fleeing conflicts in north Africa have landed in southern Italy, in increasing numbers since NATO air raids on Libya began in mid-March and the weather improved.

According to the Catholic aid group Sant'Egidio, at least 1,820 migrants from north Africa, most originally from south of the Sahara, have drowned this year in the Mediterranean in their bid to reach Europe.

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