Nearly 600 migrants of Palestinian, Syrian and Eritrean origins were rescued by the Italian Navy and coastguard off the coast of Italy yesterday.
The 596 people included 25 children and 50 women who were on board two ships in the Strait of Sicily.
Italy's Corriere della Sera TV channel quoted the Italian news agency Ansa saying the migrants were spotted by a plane that was patrolling the region.
Corriere della Sera correspondent reported that the Italian Navy with the help of other European ships found ten boats coming from the Albanian coast towards the coast of Sicily carrying 600 refugees on board.
Several ships carrying hundreds of Palestinian refugees sank in the Mediterranean Sea when their engines stopped working while on their way to Europe leading to hundreds of casualties and missing persons.
The refugees had been trying to escape Syria, Egypt and Libya because of the authority's crackdown on Palestinian and Syrian refugees fleeing the war in Syria.