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Maltese Navy rescues 180 migrants

Maltese Navy rescues 180 migrants

Valetta: Maltese armed forces said they had successfully saved 180 migrants from two boats off the coast of Malta.

A total of 28 migrants were plucked from a dinghy 71 nautical miles southwest of Malta, while a further 152 were picked up from a wooden boat southeast of the Mediterranean island, the Navy said on Monday.

Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency UNHCR and two German NGOs, Sea Watch and Sea Eye, called on European states to take in a group of 49 migrants who have been stuck at sea for days after they were stranded in the Mediterranean. The migrants include women and children.

In a statement, UNHCR said governments need to agree on a system in 2019 that gives rescue ship captains "clarity and predictability" on where migrants can disembark. 

Italy is among southern European countries that have closed their ports to migrants amid a clampdown on NGO rescue boats, sparking standoffs that have left hundreds of migrants stranded at sea for days as EU states clashed over who should take in the migrants.



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