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Italy rescues migrants, finds 9 bodies near capsized boat

Published:Tuesday | April 14, 2015 | 12:00 AM
This photo taken earlier this year shows migrants waiting to disembark from a tugboat after being rescued in the Pozzallo harbour in Sicily, Italy.


Italy's coast guard said rescuers have saved 144 migrants from a capsized boat north of Libya and spotted nine bodies.

Coast Guard Commander Filippo Marini told Sky TG24 TV that the search continued yesterday in case there were more bodies. While the exact number of migrants aboard the boat when it set out wasn't immediately known, Marini said the vessel had the capacity to carry more people.

Nearby cargo ships have joined vessels from Italy's coast guard, navy, and border police in the search. Aircraft are also being used.

By yesterday morning, Navy and coast guard vessels had rescued some 2,800 migrants in separate operations in a 48-hour period in the sea south of Sicily.

Smugglers often use rickety boats or abandon the migrants during the voyage.