ROME (Reuters) - Ship crews pulled more than 2,000 migrants from overcrowded boats in the Mediterranean on Friday, Italy’s coastguard said, as people smugglers stepped up operations during two consecutive days of good weather.
More than 7,100 people have now been plucked from international waters since Thursday, many of them on the dangerous journey from Libya.
Europe’s worst immigration crisis since World War Two is in its third year, and there has been little sign of any let up of the flow of people coming from North African to Italy since last year.
Ships belonging to Doctors without Borders, Migrant Offshore Aid Station, Italy’s navy, the EU’s border agency Frontex, and the bloc’s anti-people-smuggling mission Sophia, all helped take the migrants off nine boats on Friday.
About 60,000 boat migrants have been brought to Italy so far this year, according to the Interior Ministry.
Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Andrew Heavens