“Sicily declares emergency over migration influx,” from AFP (reposted by Al Jazeera English)
Sicily has declared a state of emergency due to rising numbers of migrants coming by boats from the Mediterranean sea.
Drones, warships and helicopters were deployed on Tuesday inside and outside Italian waters to scare-off people-smugglers, following two tragic shipwrecks this month in which more than 400 Eritrean, Somali and Syrian refugees drowned.
Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said on Tuesday that the navy had rescued 290 migrants near the island of Lampedusa, Italy’s southernmost territory.
The latest arrivals came on top of the 32,000 asylum seekers that the United Nations refugee agency said have landed in Italy and Malta so far this year.
Border guards said on Tuesday they had also seized a “mother ship” and arrested 17 crew members, who are believed to be Egyptians, following a landing in the southern Calabria region on Sunday…