|(Illustrative photo: AFP/VNA)
The coastguard said it had conducted up a large rescue operation that began Friday after three boats were spotted drifting off Italy’s coasts. One was south of the Calabrian city of Crotone and two further south, off Roccella Ionica.
A total of 1,700 people on two of the three boats were brought ashore safely. Since the beginning of the year more than 17,500 migrants have migrated to Italy by sea, three times higher than last year, said the Italian Interior Ministry.