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Italian navy rescues hundreds of children on migrant boat

An Italian navy vessel has intercepted a migrant boat with 435 people on board, including 264 children, mostly Syrian and Egyptian refugees, the authorities said on Saturday. The rescue operation on Friday afternoon is the latest in what is an escalating migration crisis in the southern Mediterranean.

At least 34,800 people are estimated to have crossed from North Africa to Europe so far this year compared to nearly 43,000 in the whole of 2013.

According to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of immigrants for 2014 looks set to exceed the 60,000 who tried to enter the EU in 2011 in the wake of the Arab Spring revolutions, which weakened border controls across the region.

Europe & RussiaItalyMiddle EastNewsSyria
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