The bodies of 30 illegal immigrants were found by the Italian Navy this morning, on a boat carrying about 600 migrants, including pregnant women.
Local media reported that elements of the Italian Navy boarded the boat while it was stationed in the Sicily Channel to help those who were on board when they found the bodies. The victims had died of asphyxiation in a badly ventilated part of the boat.
There has been a rise in the number of illegal immigrants travelling from Africa to Italy; this has led to an increase in the number of fatal accidents. In October, 400 illegal immigrants were killed when a boat capsized, the Italian armed forces have since set up a task force to help save the lives of illegal immigrants.
Over the past two days, the operation has successfully saved the lives of 1,600 illegal immigrants, who were on board seven boats on their way to Italy.