Italy says, 3,600 migrants rescued in two days
16 May 2015, Nirapad News: Almost 3,600 migrants have reportedly been rescued from overcrowded boats sailing from Africa to Europe over the past 48 hours, with sea conditions seen as perfect for attempting the crossing.
While more than 600 migrants were brought ashore at the port of Catania in Sicily on Thursday, rescuers picked another 2,500 from boats off the coast of Libya, Italy’s coastguard said.
Most of those who arrived in Catania had been picked up by the British warship HMS Bulwark and were Somali and Nigerian, Catania port officials said.
With Libya engulfed in strife, people smugglers are increasingly free to pack migrants onto unsafe boats, and they are expected to push total arrivals in Italy for 2015 to 200,000, an increase of 30,000 over last year, according to an Italian interior ministry projection.
Sandra Dike, a heavily pregnant 20-year-old Nigerian woman, said she left her home country because of the danger of attacks by the Boko Haram.
“It’s not safe to go to a public place, like a church, the market. They [Boko Haram] might bomb the place at any time,” she said.
“The war in Libya is worse. That’s why we decided to come to Italy.”
Boko Haram, which has killed thousands in its attempt to carve out a state, has suffered major setbacks this year following a co-ordinated military offensive by Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
A German ship, Italian navy vessels, a merchant ship and Italy’s finance police and coast guard all conducted rescue operations on Thursday.