October 6, 2016: Nearly 11,000 people, including children traveling alone, were rescued at sea in the past two days, while 50 people were found dead, according to Italy’s coast guard.
More than 4,600 migrants were saved Tuesday and more than 6,000 were rescued Monday in the Mediterranean Sea off North Africa.
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The migrants were rescued Tuesday from 33 boats, including 27 rubber dinghies and one wooden boat, the Italian coast guard said.
Italian authorities also said three women had given birth Monday on a coast guard vessel that was bringing some 1,000 refugees to Sicily, most of them Eritrean and Nigerian, who were rescued north of Sabratha, Libya.
At its nearest tip, Libya is 290 kilometers from the Italian island of Lampedusa.
The mothers and their three children, two baby boys and one baby girl were all reported to be in good health.
The coast guard said new rescue operations were underway on Wednesday, but considerably fewer than on the previous two days.
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The vast majority of refugees come from Africa, including Nigeria, Eritrea, Guinea, Gambia, Sudan, Ivory Coast and Somalia.
Even with the closure of the so-called Balkan route in March, used by nearly one million migrants last year to cross to European Union countries, hundreds of people have daily have attempted to reach the European Union.
More than half of refugees registered with UNHCR come from just three countries
An estimated 6,000 migrants are stranded in Serbia after Hungary introduced strict limits for asylum-seekers this summer.
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About 142,000 migrants have reached Italy this year and around 3,100 have died making the perilous trip through the Mediterranean Sea, according to the International Organization for Migration. An estimated 154,000 arrived in Italy in 2015 and 2,892 died. (VOA)