690 migrants arrive in Italy, 400 on their way

from Agence France-Presse
Published on 01 May 2014

05/01/2014 19:24 GMT

ROME, May 1, 2014 (AFP) - Two ships carrying 690 migrants landed in Italy on Thursday and around 400 more were expected on a navy ship within hours, Italian media reported.

A coastguard patrol boat arrived in Messina in Sicily carrying 266 migrants, including 45 minors and six people who had to be hospitalised and several pregnant women, the reports said.

A navy ship landed in Trapani with 424 migrants, including 83 minors, mostly from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria, Syria and Tunisia.

Around 400 more migrants were expected to arrive on a navy ship in Palermo also in Sicily in the early hours of Friday.

Italy's interior ministry has warned of an immigration emergency in Italy and has asked the European Union to help.

Hundreds of migrants are arriving in Italy on an almost daily basis.

Immigration centres are full and temporary camps are proving inadequate.

More than 22,000 migrants have arrived in Italy since the start of the year -- 10 times more than the number in the same period in 2013.


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