Italy’s coastguard said authorities have rescued about 4,400 refugees who were stranded in overcrowded and rickety vessels in the Mediterranean after receiving distress calls from 20 boats drifting in waters off the Libyan coast.
One of the biggest single-day rescue operations to date in the Mediterranean Sea reportedly occurred on Saturday, the Italian navy said.
The rescued refugees included a group of 311, including a new-born baby, who were picked up by a boat belonging to the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders. The boat is expected to dock on Monday in Vibo Valentia in Calabria, according to port authorities.
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