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Nearly 800 people rescued from boats off Libya, body recovered


Rome: Nearly 800 people have been pulled to safety in the Mediterranean and one body has been recovered, the Italian coastguard said today, among migrants attempting the perilous crossing to Europe.

A total of 782 people were rescued from rubber dinghies and a rickety boat off the coast of Libya in eight separate operations coordinated by the coastguard, which also worked with Doctors Without Borders’ boat Bourbon Argos, a navy ship and a Liberian-flagged cargo vessel.

The Italian navy said its Cigala Fulgesi ship had recovered a man’s body.

More than one million refugees and other migrants reached Europe this year, including over 970,000 who made the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, the UN refugee agency said today.

A total of 3,692 migrants died or disappeared crossing the Mediterranean sea this year, the International Organization for Migration said today, most of them trying to reach Italy.

An unusually mild December appears to have encouraged people to continue to make the trip from Libya’s coast towards Italy.

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