00:28 GMT +321 January 2020
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    In the course of the operation in the Mediterranean, 99 migrant smugglers have been arrested and handed over to the Italian authorities, according to EU Navy Commander Adm. Enrico Credendino.

    ROME (Sputnik) — The EU anti-migrant smuggling Operation Sophia in the Mediterranean, launched in 2015, has so far resulted in the arrests of 99 human smugglers, Chief of the operation, EU Navy Commander Adm. Enrico Credendino said on Wednesday.

    "In the course of the operation in the Mediterranean, 99 migrant smugglers have been arrested and handed over to the Italian authorities," Credendino said at a press conference in Rome.

    The operation has so far saved 29,317 people's lives, Credendino recalled.

    The EU operation Sophia was launched by the bloc in July 2015 in a bid to stem the flow of migrants and refugees traveling from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly from Libya, to Italy. The naval operation is said to have saved some 9,000 lives over the last year.

    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.


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    refugees, Enrico Credendino, Mediterranean Sea, Italy
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