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    Migrants, who were part of a group intercepted aboard a dinghy off the coast in the Mediterranean sea, stand on a rescue boat upon arriving at a port in Malaga, southern Spain, December 3, 2016

    Over 140 Migrants Rescued in Mediterranean Close to Libyan Coast

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    A rescue ship, operated by SOS Mediterranee, a European association saving people at sea, saved 143 migrants, including 47 minors, according to official statement.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A rescue ship, operated by SOS Mediterranee, a European association saving people at sea, rescued on Saturday 143 migrants, including women and children, in the Mediterranean, a French department of the association said.

    "MS Aquarius rescued 143 people at the sea on Saturday morning, including 5 women and 47 minors originating from West Africa," SOS Mediterranee wrote on its Twitter page.

    ​The operation reportedly took place about 25 miles off the coast of Tripoli, Libya.

    In November, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that over 340,000 migrants and refugees had entered Europe by sea in 2016, arriving mostly in Greece and Italy. The number of deaths at sea currently stands at over 4,200.

    Europe has been beset by a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants fleeing their crisis-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa to escape violence and poverty. The majority of them cross the Mediterranean Sea and arrive in the European Union using southern EU nations as transit points.

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    rescue operation, SOS Mediterranee, Mediterranean Sea
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