Thousands Plucked To Safety As Migrants Drown In Mediterranean

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An eight-year-old boy drowned in the Mediterranean Sea, where thousands of migrants made the perilous trip to Europe during the Easter holiday.The Italian Coast Guard announced the launch of 19 rescue missions when the migrants tried to Libya from rubber trips and wooden boats.

Italian authorities say more than 2,000 people were rescued on Friday and 3,000 on Saturday, but at least 20 people drowned.”The sea is still a graveyard,” MSF said in a tweet.

Reuters photographer Darrin Zammit Lope described the scene: “In 19 years of covering the story of migration, I have not seen anything like today.”MSF used its two vessels – Aquarius and Wisdom – to rescue about 1,000 people in nine boats, but video footage shows chaotic scenes when migrants sit on rafts or slip into the water.

The number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean has dropped from its peak in 2015, with an estimated 32,000 migrants arriving in Europe by sea so far this year. More than 650 people have died.

The United Nations said 2016 was the deadliest place in the Mediterranean, although the number of migrants who made the trip the previous year had declined. The number of arrivals to Italy increases during May and usually climbs in July when conditions at sea are better.

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