dpa/GNA – About 170 migrants were rescued from the Mediterranean Sea by the Spanish rescue group Open Arms this week, the group announced in a tweet on Friday.

A group of 169 people, including several children, were picked up from an overflowing wooden boat on Thursday in international waters north of Libya.

They were not far off from the Italian island of Lampedusa, which is the destination for many migrant boats leaving North Africa.

Open Arms is one of a number of rescue groups operating in the Mediterranean. Officials in Italy have tried to discourage such operations, arguing that migrants are more likely to take off from Africa if they believe they will be rescued by such groups.

The most recent mission for the Open Arms ship only began a few weeks ago. In November, the ship was responsible for helping multiple migrants reach Trapani, on the Italian island of Sicily.

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