Three boats with 200 migrants land in Italy

  • AFP, Rome, Italy
  • |
  • Updated: Aug 19, 2013 21:16 IST

Three boats carrying more than 200 migrants have landed in Italy, officials said on Monday, the latest arrivals due to calmer weather and unrest in north Africa.

Some 100 people including 17 women and 11 children arrived on one boat that was intercepted by coast guard vessels and taken to Catania in Sicily.

The migrants said they were from Syria and Egypt.

"Some of us are escaping from Egypt because there are people who lost relatives after the fall of (deposed Islamist president Mohamed) Morsi," one migrant was quoted as saying by Italian news agency ANSA.

The migrant said their journey had lasted seven days.

Seventy-seven migrants – who said they were from Nigeria and Ghana   arrived on another boat, a small dinghy, which was intercepted and taken to the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa earlier on Monday.

Italian police also said they had found 15 more migrants on the coast in Sicily – part of a group of around 30 that landed overnight on a third vessel.

Almost 800 people have died in days of clashes between Morsi supporters and security forces throughout Egypt, where authorities last week launched a bloody crackdown on demonstrators protesting his July 3 ouster by the army.


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