Italy Steps Up Mediterranean Patrol

World | October 14, 2013, Monday // 11:35|  views

Italy intends to triple its coast guards in the southern Mediterranean. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Italy will increase its patrol in the Mediterranean Sea, after recent incidents with migrant boats left hundreds dead.

The country’s PM Enrico Letta said an “air and naval package” would start on Monday south of Sicily, the BBC reports. Defense Minister Mario Mauro revealed that Italy intends to triple its presence in the southern Mediterranean.

Both Italy and Malta have urged the EU to assist in the process, but have not been satisfied with the overall support so far.

Malta, as well as the Italian island of Lampedusa have become the main destinations for migrants fleeing Africa on boats.

According to the UN, some 32 000 migrants have arrived in Malta and Italy this year. The estimated deaths at sea since 1988 are close to 20 000.

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Tags: enrico letta, Italy, Lampedusa, Malta, Africa, migrants, UN, EU, Mediterranean


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