Over 1000 migrants rescued off Libya’s coast in 11 operations

  • AFP, Rome
  • Updated: Sep 29, 2015 13:52 IST
A member of Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without borders - MSF) carries a young migrant aboard a zodiac during a rescue operation by the NGO off the coast of Libya. (AFP Photo)

The Italian coastguard said it had coordinated the rescue of 1,151 migrants in 11 separate operations off the Libyan coast on Monday.

In one of the biggest operations, a coastguard ship rescued 441 people from four inflatable boats on Monday, it said in a statement.

Separately, the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) said its ship Dignity 1 had saved 373 people, including 62 women and 10 children.

“Many are suffering from shock,” MSF said on Twitter, posting a picture of a distressed six-year-old boy in the arms of a rescuer.

The survivors were transferred to Italy, an MSF spokesperson added.

On September 19, more than 4,500 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean from Libya were rescued in joint operations by European ships. An MSF vessel carried out 800 of the rescues that day.

Libya has, for years, been a stepping stone for migrants seeking to travel to Europe.

People smugglers have taken advantage of conflict and political chaos in Libya since its 2011 revolution to step up their lucrative business.

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