242 migrants rescued off Lampedusa island

242 migrants rescued off Lampedusa island


Italian coastguard has rescued no fewer than 242 migrants, some of whom may be refugees, in waters off the small island near Tunisia.

The migrants were discovered crammed into five small boats.

Local media said one had set out from Libya with 52 men and three women from India, Eritrea, Syria, Egypt and Pakistan on board. Another boat, which was just seven metres long, carried 41 men and one woman who were from Congo, Burkina Faso and Guinea. It had set out from the port of Sfax in Tunisia, as had a third boat which carried 20 Tunisians.

EU member states are reportedly close to agreeing a plan that would see migrants looked after by almost all of the 27 states rather than just the southern ones along the Mediterranean.

Those states, including Greece, Spain and Italy, have extended their fences and border walls and intensified maritime patrols to try to stop the crossings.

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