Warships rescue thousands off Libya coast

Children as young as two and heavily pregnant women have been saved from overcrowded boats ferrying migrants from Libya to Italy.
GIUSI COSENTINO/AFP/Getty Images
GIUSI COSENTINO/AFP/Getty Images

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European warships and coast guard vessels have rescued more than 2,000 migrants off the coast of Libya, BBC News reported on Sunday. 

The Malta-based Migrant Offshore Aid Station said it co-ordinated the operation to save the lives of people whose boats had run into difficulty trying to cross from Libya to Italy, along with Italian, Irish and German ships.

HMS Bulwark, a British Royal Navy ship sent to the Mediterranean by the UK government, has rescued at least 1,000 refugees, including children as young as two and heavily pregnant women, off the coast of Libya.

Italian navy ship Driade rescued 560 of migrants on Saturday while the Irish vessel LE Eithne picked up 310 people.

Italy's government predicts a total of 200,000 mirgants will arrive on its shores this year, up from 170,000 in 2014.

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