More than 1,100 migrants rescued off Italy in one day


taly’s navy has rescued 1,123 people from inflatable boats in the space of 24 hours, as clandestine migration from North Africa reaches record levels, the BBC reports.
The latest migrants were found in eight boats and a barge about 120 miles (222km) south-east of Lampedusa.
They include 47 women, four of them pregnant, and 50 children, all probably from sub-Saharan Africa, the navy said.
Meanwhile, at least seven migrants have drowned trying to reach the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in North Africa.
Local officials say the bodies of six men and a woman were found on a beach in neighbouring Morocco. The dead migrants had been part of a group of some 400 people who tried to enter Spanish territory on Thursday.
All of the victims were from sub-Saharan Africa, Spanish news agency EFE reports.
Some 2,000 migrants landed on Italian shores last month, nearly 10 times the number recorded in January 2013.
According to the government, last year saw an “incessant and massive influx of migrants” with a total of 42,925 arrivals by sea, or more than three times as many as in 2012.
The true number of migrants who died attempting the perilous crossing is unknown but in October more than 400 people drowned in two shipwrecks near Lampedusa, the closest Italian territory to North Africa.

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