02:42 GMT +325 June 2019
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    Rescued migrants on the deck of an Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) patrol boat reach out for bottles of water being distributed by a soldier in a biohazard suit after arriving at the AFM's Maritime Squadron base at Haywharf in Valletta's Marsamxett Harbour, January 22, 2015

    Over 200 Migrants Rescued in Mediterranean Sea by Maltese Forces - Reports

    © REUTERS / Darrin Zammit Lupi
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - At least 216 migrants including women and children, were rescued in the Mediterranean Sea by the Maltese military, a spokesperson for the Maltese Armed Forces (MAF) said, as cited by the Times of Malta on Saturday.

    Two separate rescue operations took place late Friday, the local media reported.

    READ MORE: Clearance of San Ferdinando Migrant Camp in Southwestern Italy Begins — Reports

    The migrants, including women and children, were crossing the sea on dinghies. At least one pregnant woman was among those rescued by the Maltese forces, according to the spokesman.

    Now the migrants will have a chance to apply for asylum.

    The EU has been challenged by migration crisis since 2015 due to the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing their home countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

    Relocation of migrants within the bloc has caused tensions within EU countries, with Malta, in particular, reaching an agreement with eight EU states to relocate migrants stranded off its coast on charity vessels after sea rescue operations.

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    rescue effort, Migrant Crisis, EU, Malta
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