Italy rescues 2,400 boat migrants, finds three corpses


More than 2,400 migrants have been rescued from boats in the Strait of Sicily in the last two days and emergency services recovered three corpses, Italy’s coast guard said on Wednesday.

Now into the second year of its worst migration crisis since World War Two, Europe has been hit by more than 1.2 million arrivals, mainly from Africa and the Middle East, since the beginning of 2015.

Italy’s coast guard has continued to pick up migrants in trouble in the stretch of water between its southern coast and North Africa, although most people seeking a better life in Europe have taken less dangerous routes to Greece.

Italian coast guard and navy ships and a Norwegian vessel operating for the European Union border agency Frontex rescued 1,467 people in 12 operations on Wednesday, the coast guard said in a statement.

The coast guard found two bodies while rescuing 750 people packed into six rubber boats, and navy officials on a separate rescue mission found a third corpse. The coast guard gave no details on the nationalities of the victims or those rescued.

Wednesday’s rescues came after 951 people were plucked from the Strait of Sicily on Tuesday, the coast guard said.