Over 4000 migrants rescued in 24 hours

Ships from Italy, Germany, Ireland, Belgium and Britain take part in rescue operation 

More than 4,200 migrants have been rescued from boats in the Mediterranean in the space of just 24 hours, marking a new high in the numbers attempting to reach the European continent this year.

The Italian coastguard said distress calls were recieved from 22 boats off the coast of Libya and Italy, and ships from Italy, Germany, Ireland, Belgium and Britain took part in the rescue operation. 17 bodies were recovered.

The calm Spring seas are aiding migrants departures, but the death toll remains high, with an estimated 1,800 people believed to have lost their lives since the beginning of this year.

The Greek island of Kos has seen more than 1,000 people wash up on its shores in just one week, many of them fleeing conflicts and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. Situated just five kilometres from the Turkish coast, Kos’ 30,000 residents are struggling to cope with the influx.

An EU plan to disperse 40,000 migrants through other European countries has met with resistance, however with the UK refusing to participate and others calling for participation in the scheme to be on a voluntary basis.

 

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