ROME (Reuters) – Spanish charity Open Arms said it rescued 117 migrants on Saturday crowded onto a precarious wooden boat from Libya in the latest such perilous crossing over the Mediterranean sea.
Last week’s shipwreck off Greece, killing at least 78 among hundreds packed onto a fishing boat, has shone a light once again on the deaths of thousands of migrants each year fleeing poverty and conflict in Africa and the Middle East.
Open Arms said in a statement that it had picked up 117 people on Saturday, including 25 women and a three-year-old boy, mainly from Eritrea, Sudan and Libya.
The rescue operation took place in international waters 30km off the coast of Libya after the boat left the port of Sabratha under darkness at 0100 GMT, according to the statement and a spokesperson for the charity.
All the passengers were receiving a medical assessment on board the Open Arms vessel, the charity said, without giving more details on where they would be taken.
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(Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)
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