Over 2,000 rescued migrants reach Italian southern ports: officials

BY Xinhua News AgencyJun 19,2017 at 22:31

ROME, June 19 (Xinhua) -- More than 2,000 migrants and refugees arrived in southern Italy on Monday after being rescued during the crossing of the Mediterranean Sea towards Europe, Italian officials said.
A ship carrying 1,096 people docked at the port of Palermo, Sicily's regional capital, in early morning, a spokesperson from the Italian coast guard told Xinhua.
Among them were 185 minors, and 11 pregnant women, according to local media.
Some people in the group showed wounds due to mistreatment, and burns caused by a mixture of water and fuel, state broadcaster RAI News 24 reported.
The Italian Red Cross, along with some private associations, provided them with first medical assistance after disembarking.
No further details about the country of origin of the people were available.
In the same hours, the "Vos Prudence" vessel by humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) brought some 1,050 people to the port of Reggio Calabria, the Italian coast guard confirmed. Within this group were at least 20 migrant children.
On Sunday, about 695 migrants and refugees were brought to Catania, and another 524 to the port of Augusta.
The Italian coast guard, which coordinates all rescue missions in the central Mediterranean, said some 4,600 people were overall saved in about 40 operations in the weekend.
With the latest arrivals accounted, the number of migrants and refugees registered in the country from Jan. 1 to June 16 has reached 65,496, according to the Interior Ministry.
The figure marked a 17.51 percent increase in arrivals compared to the same period in 2016.
Compared with the over 65,000 arrivals so far this year, only 6,505 people had been relocated in the European Union (EU) by June 6, statistics from the Interior Ministry showed.
The EU relocation scheme allows asylum-seekers to be transferred legally under humanitarian protection from the country where they have first arrived to another EU country willing to host them.
Overall, Italy received 181,436 migrants and refugees last year.
Long considered as an entry point to reach other destinations in Europe, Italy has been seeing a constant increase in the number of asylum seekers lately, due to borders closure and lack of burden-sharing policies by some EU partners.
The requests of asylum grew from 63,456 in 2014 to 83,970 in 2015 and further to 123,600 in 2016, according to official data. Of about 91,000 asylum requests processed in 2016, some 60 percent were denied. Enditem

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