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Italy: At least 10 migrants found dead in sea off Libya

Published:Monday | May 4, 2015 | 12:00 AMAP


Italian Coast Guard and commercial vessels came to the rescue of at least 16 boats of migrants yesterday, saving hundreds of them and recovering 10 bodies off Libya's coast, as smugglers took advantage of calm seas to send packed vessels across the Mediterranean.

The Italian Coast Guard said the bodies were found in three separate rescue operations off Libya's coast. The Coast Guard was being aided by a tug and a merchant ship in at least some of the rescue efforts.

Yesterday's drama at sea came a day after 3,690 migrants were saved from smugglers' boats. Most of those migrants were still being taken to southern Italian ports even as the fresh rescues were taking place.

The soaring numbers sparked the latest round of calls from far-right politicians in Europe for drastic action to stop migrants from reaching European shores, once and for all.

Far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen said France should send migrants back across the Mediterranean Sea.

A French patrol boat on Saturday rescued 217 migrants from three rubber dinghies and detained two suspected smugglers before all were turned over to Italian authorities.

Criticising European immigration policy, Le Pen said on Europe-1 radio yesterday that France should send migrants back to their port of departure so "traffickers know that no migrant will come ashore on our coast.