Updated | Cargo ship to take 270 stranded migrants to Italy

Rome-based Habeshia Agency says Maltese authorities already located boat carrying 270 asylum seekers

A cargo ship has picked up a group of 270 migrants found on a large dinghy some 90 miles off Malta.

The rescue took place last night after n Eritrean priest based in Rome informed the Maltese armed forces and Italian coastguard that the vessel, including women and children, and two pregnant women close to giving birth, had been stranded at sea for days.

The boatload of probable asylum seekers includes a boy who is seriously ill.

The priest, Moses Zerai, said he had informed the Italian and Maltese authorities to the presence of this vessel at 3:30pm on Monday.

"Italy and Malta are informed of the location of the vessel. Since yesterday afternoon, Malta has taken responsibility for coordinating the rescue of these people, but until now have not been rescued," Zerai said.

"270 people spent the night in the vessel in the cold, and women who have recently given birth time are in serious trouble. This morning at 9:30am I was contacted by the refugees on board the vessel, and they told me that their situation has worsened their boat was taking in water, that they have no more food and drinking water, and that they were risking their lives," Zerai said.

The priest said that while the boat had been located by the Maltese authorities, he could not understand why the migrants had been left at sea all night. "We are talking about human lives, not a cargo container... the Maltese authorities last night told us they were proceeding to save these castaways, but the refugees are still there suspended between life and death."

Zerai said any lives lost at sea would be the responsibility of the Maltese authorities. He said a merchant vessel was alerted to the location of the vessel carrying the migrants, and that it was in contact with the authorities Maltese but no relief had been yet delivered.

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Brehane-meskel he would save thousands more if he told them NOT to risk their lives and come to Europe. Otherwise, he is an accomplice with the peoples traffickers which is a criminal offence.
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This Ethiopian priest always features in the illegal immigrants traffic. He is in the illegal immigrants trafficking business because the illegal immigrants always ring him up and whoever helps illegal immigrants trafficking is helping the illegal immigrants traffickers and therefore aiding and abetting this illegal criminal activity. Time for the VAtican to stop him and send him back to Ethiopia to stop him undermining Europe with illegal African immigrants.
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Priest Moses Zerai should be most applauded in his tireless sacrificial effort in saving thousands of lives. And anyone can get his contact easily. I wonder how some able to focus on diverted issue at the middle of such humanitarian crisis. God bless Priest Moses and God bless the Malta Navy. Amen
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Even the devil may sometimes pose as a catholic priest, but nevertheless, his intentions remain all too satanic!
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Rescues at sea should be the exception and not the norm. Rescue people always, but the actions by this priest (who seems to be an organizer of these dangerous trips) should be reprimanded by the Vatican for putting people, especially kids at risk. If this person was not a priest I bet he would be arrested as a human trafficker: an other abuse?
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Is it a coincident that the name of this priest pops up every now and then in connection with illegal immigration. How on earth do these have his phone number unless it is given to them by who is organizing these illegal boat trips? Is he by any chance a part of the same organization? I don't think that he is being contacted from heaven and given the coordinates of where the boat is. There are many questions surrounding this priest that needs to be answered.
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This somali priest has already been alleged that he organizes these sea crossings. Apparently it is true ,since how did he know of this boatload of illegal migrants. It is time the Vatican stop this abuse, not only is the priest burdening other countries like Malta with the problems of his own country but also risking the lives of the illegals. He should be ashamed.
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John Mifsud
It is not the first time that this reverend gentleman's name has come up in connection with illegal immigration and human trafficking. Isn't it about time that he is investigated, particularly to see if he has any links with criminal people smuggling rings? Or does he enjoy ecclesiastical immunity?
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Does Fr. Zerai (God bless his soul) have the backing of the Vatican in what he's doing? Because from reading this article one can come to the conclusion that Fr. Zerai is breaking the law.
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Mr Zerai is conducting illegal migration of africans to europe from the precincts of the Vatican, and so brazenly blames Malta for any loss of life!
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Isnt it funny how these people have a priests phone number, Maybe its the church who are arranging these boats carrying illegals to Malta and Italy.
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Who gives the person authority on who is responsible or not and why does this priest often get called by illegal immigrants at sea? There's something really fishy about this guy.