One group of migrants rescued in Mediterranean; second reaches Italy


More than 40 migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Africa were picked up by a rescue charity overnight into Tuesday, according to the organization.

Representatives from SOS Mediterranee said their ship, the Ocean Viking, found the ship in distress about 200 metres from its location during the operation. The rescued included five juveniles.

Separately, about 120 Afghan migrants made it to the Italian port of Portopalo di Capo Passero, on the southern tip of Sicily, under their own power, reported the ANSA news agency.

Police took the people into custody. Investigators said they might have started this leg of their journey in Greece or Turkey.

The rescue ship operations are controversial, as Mediterranean nations say migrants are emboldened to make the trip knowing that there are groups looking out for their safety. The rescue groups argue that the people are driven by desperation and would attempt the journey no matter what, out of hope of achieving a better standard of living in Europe.

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