02:28 GMT29 January 2020
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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

    Italian coast guards said that they saved about 6,500 people during the day after they set sail from the Libyan shore in an attempt to reach Europe.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Guardia Costiera said in a statement published on its Twitter that 40 rescue operations had been held in the space of one day. The Italian Navy has been patrolling the northern Libyan as part of EU’s operation Sophia to prevent human trafficking.

    The statement added that during the abovementioned rescue operations the coast guards had coordinated the activities of Italian vessels, as well as the ones of humanitarian groups and the EU border agency Frontex.

    Thousands of people have embarked on the perilous voyage across the Mediterranean since 2015 in a bid to escape war and poverty in North Africa and the Middle East. The majority of them cross the Mediterranean Sea and arrive in the European Union using southern EU nations as transit points. Frontex detected over 1.83 million illegal border crossings in 2015.

    According to the International Organization for Migration, about 272,000 migrants have arrived in the European Union via the Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of the year and at least 3,165 died on their way in 2016.

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)


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