Libyan families, children among 347 refugees fleeing war brought to Malta

UPDATED | 347 refugees fleeing war-torn Libya have been brought to Malta by the AFM after their boat stalled and drifted for hours in the open seas. For the first time, the Maltese authorities are dealing with Libyans fleeing with their families from the strife.

The migrants were intercepted earlier in the day by an Italian NATO vessel currently patrolling the Mediterranean sea as part of a naval blockade on Libya, and later by an Italian trawler that called for assistance after the crew confirmed that the boat's engine was stalled.

According to reports, the migrants boat was stalled after their engine failed and were drifting in an area that was under the Maltese responsibilities for search and rescue.

A number of Libyan families fleeing their war-torn country were aboard the boat. Some 48 women, 12 children and 16 babies were among the group.

Also on the boat were Egyptian and Bangladeshi workers who have been stranded in Libya since the war broke out in the North African country.

Most of the migrants carried bags with clothes and few personal belongings.

Meanwhile, more than 500 migrants - also fleeing Libya - have landed on Lampedusa, while another boatload of migrants landed off the Sicilian port-town of Trapani.

Three migrants were found dead off the coast, as reports suggest that a speedboat carrying 17 migrants left them to swim almost three miles out at sea.

The men who steered the speedboat fled the area.

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The article above is not about immigrants nor illegal immigrants. It is about REFUGEES where humanity applies and not restrictions. Refugees are trying to escape a war to survive and not trying to escape economical or political difficulties.
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Forcing immigrants to stay in Malta against their will and despite not having the resources to integrate them successfully is nearly as inhumane as sending them back to Libya. Many of these immigrants have relatives in mainland Europe. The government should stop forcing them to stay here, he should close an eye or two when they escape and he should refuse to receive them back when they are caught in Europe. If Mainland Europe doesn't want immigrants then let them put their hands in their pockets and invest in Africa and not expect us to act as their unnofficial detention center.
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Are you in possession of the exclusive rights on this country?
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monique my comments are in defense of MY country and MY fellow citizens from what the Prime Minister himself called an illegal immigrants invasion and yet he has shown time and time again that he is incompetent to stop this invasion.
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With refugees,not immigrants, you need to be more focussed. It is true that the figure of 350 is alarming, but we cannot do anything about it, especially inhuman things. What is required is further pressure in the right forums to put forward Malta's case for aid. Much more than our EU brothers are offering us. Perhaps a multi-party commission could be set up to chart Malta's course through this dilemma. And things are bound to get worse. Something which no single political formation can achieve on its own.
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The world according to "Haha"...if only life would be that simple. You are producing nothing more than single-processed thaughts. Furthermore i noticed that you don't read properly through other comments.
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Curiosity killed the cat [email protected]
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Hysteria and scaremongering monique? Then I am certainly not in a minority as evidence by all polls. It is you and the other do-gooders who are in a minority monique
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RJ first of all I didn't say that Libyans should be immediately returned to Libya. Apart from this, they could go to the side they support or else can go to Tunisia or Egypt which is is just across the border and not put their life in danger. Have a look at the North African map RJ and you will see that at least six countries border Libya. So why did the people not cross over to one of those countries?
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@Haha. You should be aware that there is a war in Libya and people, whether asylum seekers or migrants are trying to reach a safe place. Now, a lot of people, as Egyptians want to return home as soon as possible.
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The above mentioned are REFUGEES and not illegal immigrants. But then again you seem not to be blessed with a detail-oriented mind. But with a mind of Hysteria and scaremongery more like.
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monique you seem to be one of those who preaches a lot but does not put what they preach in practice. I prefer and want my money to go to MALTESE citizens not to illegal immigrants.
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@-Haha; "tell-us-how-many-you-are-hosting-at-your-own-home-bla-bla" As i stated already in my earlier comment: "I pay a lot of taxes every month and i prefere that a part of it goes to the refugee centers rather than to San Tonio et al for unjustified payrises"...or to some of our very own citizens who couldn't get bothered to pull out their finger from their rear-end and get up for work.
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Jista Haha juri ismu ...dan zgur ragel bil-mod li jikteb. Imma miskin jisthi juri ismu. ma ntihx tord. U nerga' nghid veru miskin...niccalingjah juri ismu Ragel bla kukki.
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monique if you read the article it says that there Egyptians and Bangladeshis and according to other media from other countries who do not qualify for anything. This apart, I also pay my taxes and want my taxes to go to Maltese citizens and not to illegal immigrants. Please do tell us how many you are hosting at your own home at your own expense monique. It appears none whatsoever. As they say monique, il-kelma tqanqal imma l-ezempju jkaxakar.
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Get a grip -Haha..and read the above article again. "Libyan families fleeing their war-torn country were aboard. Also on the boat were Egyptian and Bangladeshi workers who have been stranded in Libya since the war broke out." And as for suggesting to host them at my home...just another rethoric platitude of your likes. I pay a lot of taxes every month and i prefere that a part of it goes to the refugee centers rather than to San Tonio et al for unjustified payrises
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ps monique, As for your comments on me and Louise and calling our stand to defend Malta and the Maltese citizens against this illegal immigrants invasion as egoism, ignorance and immaturity as they say it takes a thief to catch a thief. Pathetic are those who do not see the beam in their own eyes and believe in fairy-tales that we can stack people on top of each other and live happily ever after.
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monique is there a war in Egypt, is there a war in Bangladesh? And even if yes Bangladeshis have many more countries near their own to go to and not come from the other side of the world to be lumped by us. There is no war in Egypt so your argument holds no water. According to you if half the world was fighting and all the citizens of the countries at war find their way to Malta we should lump them. Get real monique. How many are you hosting in your own home at your own expense monique? In any case Bangladeshis and Egyptians do not qualify for anything. Also see my previous comments. Some people really live in their own tiny bubble and cannot see further than their nose.
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mags First of all Europeans and also others such as the Vietnamese did not escape did not escape when there was war in their own countries or in Europe but fought it out. In any case, we are told that most of those who were brought in were Egyptians and Bangladeshis and none of them qualify for any status, so it is no problem in sending them back. Re the Libyans, aren't we constantly being told that NATO and those bombing Libya are protecting the civilians? So there shouldn't be any problem in sending them back to the area where they may be safe. Libya is vast not tiny like Malta. I am not suggesting that they be immediately returned but I am just being sarcastic at how we and the world are being told that NATO and its allies are protecting civilians in Libya. In any case they will be easy to return when hostilities cease. Re had there been Maltese among them they would be returning to their own country so they won't be illegal immigrants and your argument does not hold mags. As for racists, just try to go to one of the illegal imigrants own countries and see how they treat you and also have a look at the link kindly provided by muscatd. [email protected] ghidilna kemm qieghed izzomm mieghek gewwa darhek spejjez tieghek.
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@-all the Haha's, Louise's et al of this country; Your egoism, ignorance and immaturity knocks me out. So you would send refugees back to war zone? You would send 12 children and 16 babies back to hell ? I am lost for words. Pathetic.
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Send the Egyptians and Bangladeshis back to their own country.
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ray imisshom jehduhom kolla il-pajjiżi li kienu ikkolonizzawhom qabel u dawk li issa qanqlu dil-gwerra fil-Libya ghall-interessi taghhom u mhux veru biex jiddefendu lin-nies civili. Dnub li ahna msallbin b'nies li l-ewwel u dejjem iharsu l-interessi ta' l-immigranti illegal minflok l-interessi ta' Malta u tac-cittadini Maltin.
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Dr Muscat ma bezax u mexa kontra l-kurrent ghax kien jaf li qieghed fis-sewwa fuq il kwistjoni tal- Immigranti Illegali. Kienu kritikat u mghajjar li huwa bla qalb, faxxist, min kollox. Issa l-poplu Malti kollhu jaf kemm kellu ragun u nitlob lil MEDIA LINK taghmel apologija lil Dr Muscat ghax issa iz zejt tela fwicc l-ilma u lfatti huma li Malta qeghda tigi invaduta u hadt u hadt mhuwa juri solidarjeta ma Malta. Mela pruvajt tkissru lil bniedem GENWIN ghax qal il verita!
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Where is the EU, Nato and the US in all these. Aren't they the ones who were all for the war in order to protect the innocent people of Libya. What about saving and taking these people on board. THis shows what hypocricy we are dealing. with.
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@Louise Vella Quote "We’ll be lumped with them anyway in the name of Christian value" Unquote Well, We are lumped with you and your thoughts in the name of freedom of speech. Unfortunately. @tonfatso Ieqaf ara sal ponta ta mniehrek. Kont tiehu gost kieku l EU haditom kollha?? Mur zommhom milli jinvaduna umbaghad. Taf kemm immigranti gew ripatrijati lura lejn pajjizom? Ejja. Ghidilna please. Facli wiehed iparla bilqeghda id dar u ma jkunx x jaf x inhu jigri fil realta.
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As difficult as Malta's situation is right now - but fleeing from a real war - which although the divorce debate seems to have overtaken all national interest - is still raging - there are still victims and casualties. So under the circumstances - to be sent back to Libya is irrational at best and criminal at worst. You can't send people back to a country where a raging war is going on as apart from the fact that it's inhuman, we will also be breaking the law of non-refoulement. These are not economic migrants but people fleeing from a raging war - just a few miles away from us. Also if we send people back to Libya - the word human decency will not have any more significance - especially in the so-called catholic Malta!!! Just a question if I may - Had there been Maltese citizens, who would not have made it to flee when the conflict started and then got aboard this boat - would your reaction have been the same??? Somehow I don't think so - which depicts you as pure racists!!!
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Sur Ministru KMB hemm ahna. Sew ghidtlek li int ma hsiebx ghal futur. Dawk li hadulna tal-Eu malajr ergajna gibnihom. L-aqwa li qadt tikkumiedja ma Maelstrom u minghalik ghamilt xi akkwist. Vera falliment iehor ta' gonzipn. U l-kbir ghadu gej. Stenna ftit.
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@briffy According to the newspaper, a lot of immigrants are Bangladeshi. Here is what happens when they are a majority . The place is London. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1386558/Tower-Hamlets-Taliban-Death-threats-women-gays-attacked-streets.html Do you really wish this state of affairs for your Maltese brothers and sisters? Are you trying to book your place in heaven by making martyrs out of us all. Because that is what the final result will be, if what you wish comes to pass.
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We should help our Libyan friends and neighbours; they are fleeing civil war and as such we should help them as they have helped us. The Government should give a helping hand; this is a real emergency, a bona- fide emergency; as these have no choice and do not come here at random as a stepping stone to Europe.
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Ma nafx kif karattri bhal Lousie Vella u Mark Navarro ghandhom il wicc jiktbu dawn il-hnizrijiet. Dawn jikkunsidraw ruhhom nies civilizzati? Dawn Kristjani? X'qatt ghamlu dawn il-karattri ghal gid ta l-umanita? Jidhru li ma jonqoshom xejn u ma jimpurthom minn hadd. Xi hnizrijiet!!
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What was at first reported to be an Italian fishing vessel is now said to be an Italian NATO vessel. Perhaps the vessel’s commander did not know that Malta is not a member of NATO, that Malta is not at war and bombing Libya. Maybe that’s why he did not have them sent to Italy. But maybe he knows that Dr Gonzi said that he will send the AFM to pick up any illegal immigrants who claim to be “in distress”. No questions asked about the number. The more the merrier. No questions asked about whether the Maltese taxpayer is willing to pay for them. We’ll have to. No questions asked whether the other EU countries will take them off our back. We’ll be lumped with them anyway in the name of Christian values.
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Welcome to Lampedusa2! Il gvern Malti kien kuntent li LUnjoni Ewropeja kollha accetaw li jiehdulna 320 immigrant. Illum dahlu 320 ohra , F'Malta nistghu nibqghu sejrin hekk? Jiena ghalija dawn ghandhom jittiehdu lura f'pajjizhom mhux kif qal il gvern , that they will be welcomed as tourists! Dan huwa lioktar mument iebes u kiefer ghax Malta ma tiflahx iktar immigranti illegali! Dr Muscat il verita kien qal li Malta ma tiflahx iktar immigranti u gie mghajjar min Gonzi li huwa "Far Right" Mela Thankyou ejja iktar "WELCOME TO MALTA"