July 21, 2015 / 4:48 PM / 2 years ago

Italian coast guard rescues 414 boat migrants including 4 newborns

ROME (Reuters) - Three Italian ships rescued 414 migrants from four boats in the Mediterranean sea on Tuesday, Italy’s coast guard said, with four newborns and one young child among those saved.

About 150,000 migrants, many fleeing poverty and war in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, came to Europe by sea between January and July, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

Most of them cross the narrow stretch of sea from lawless Libya to Italy and Greece.

About 1,400 people were also rescued at sea on Monday, a coast guard spokesman said.

Tuesday’s rescues were carried out in an area between 25 and 35 miles (56 km) from the coast of Libya by Italian coast guard ships activated as part of European Union rescue mission Triton, which replaced Italy’s broader operation Mare Nostrum.

Reporting by Isla Binnie and Steve Scherer; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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