Italy says over 1300 stranded refugees have been rescued at sea in a single day of naval operations through the Mediterranean. The Italian Coastguard said in a statement on Saturday that 1,348 asylum seekers of various African nationalities were rescued during 11 rescue operations in the stretch of sea between Sicily, Italy’s largest island to the south and North Africa.
The operations, which were coordinated by the Italian coastguard, involved the European Union naval mission Eunavfor Med, the Malta-based NGO Moas and a private tugboat. The refugees, including men, women, children and even toddlers and babies, were all reportedly transferred to Sicily. The picked-up people on Saturday brought the total number of rescued refugees to over 3,000 in the past three days.