Nearly 700 North African migrants arrive on Italian island

By REUTERS
June 11, 2011 12:02

 
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ROME - Three boats carrying nearly 700 migrants from North Africa arrived on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa overnight, officials said on Saturday.

The boats, which were believed to have left from Libya, carried a total of 667 migrants. Two other boats with a total of about 200 migrants were spotted some 20 miles away and were also heading towards the island, a coast guard official said.

Thousands of people fleeing upheavals in North Africa have sailed to Italy on rickety boats in recent months, often creating an immigration crisis on the island situated halfway between Tunisia and Sicily.

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