Rescue mission: Pakistanis among migrants saved by Italian navy

The 823 men, women and children aboard the 4 vessels were from countries including Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq and Tunisia.

Reuters January 04, 2014
Migrants sit in a Marina Militare vessel during a rescue operation by Italian navy off the coast of the south of the Italian island of Sicily. PHOTO: REUTERS


The Italian navy rescued more than 1,000 migrants including Pakistanis in the 24 hours to Friday from boats trying to reach Europe, authorities said, as an immigration crisis that killed hundreds in the last year showed no signs of easing.

Navy helicopters spotted four overcrowded boats struggling to stay afloat south of Sicily on Thursday and ships were sent to save them, the navy said in a statement.

The 823 men, women and children aboard the four vessels were from countries including Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq and Tunisia. The navy rescued 233 migrants from Pakistan, Eritrea, Nigeria, Somalia, Zambia and Mali in a separate operation and took them to a port near Syracuse on Sicily’s eastern coast.

Following an October shipwreck in which 366 Eritrean migrants drowned off the Italian island of Lampedusa, Italy launched a special operation combining ships, helicopters and drones to monitor the Mediterranean Sea.

 photo 27_zpsa59b6826.jpg

Italy is a major gateway into Europe for many migrants seeking a better life, and sea arrivals to the country from Northern Africa more than tripled in 2013, fuelled by refugees in Syria’s civil war and strife in the Horn of Africa. Over the past two decades, Italy, Greece and the Mediterranean island of Malta have the brunt of the migrant flows and have urged a coordinated European Union response.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2014.

Facebook Conversations


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Load Next Story