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Over 2000 migrants dare Mediterranean Sea to reach Italian island on boat

Over 2000 migrants dare Mediterranean Sea to reach Italian island on boat

Rome: State media reports said on Monday that over 2,000 migrants have reached the Italian island of Lampedusa in the Mediterranean Sea by boat within the past 24 hours. The report has caused concerns in Rome, as it represents a fresh inflow of African immigrants in search of better life and jobs in Europe.

Lampedusa is the closest Italian island to the African continent, and so the most convenient gateway to Europe to land in search of better life and fortune of the continent.

Recent years have seen a sharp increase in the number of migrants boarding cramped vessels for the risky journey to the small island between North Africa and Sicily, DPA news agency quoted Italy's ANSA as saying in a report.

ANSA on Monday gave the count of 2,128 for those who arrived during the previous 24 hours including 635 overnight arrivals.

When many managed to reach the coast, patrol boats picked up several hundred people travelling in small boats and brought them ashore.

In recent weeks, private sea rescuers have reported seeing greater numbers of migrants setting off in rubber dinghies and small wooden boats towards Europe, often from Libya, while dozens have drowned when vessels capsize.

According to a count by the Ministry of the Interior published on May 7, more than 10,700 migrants have arrived in Italy since the beginning of the year.

During the same period last year, there were 4,100 arrivals.

The origin of people venturing on the perilous journey is reported to be Tunisia, the Ivory Coast and Bangladesh.

Right-wing parties, including the co-ruling League party of former interior minister Matteo Salvini, responded by warning about "thousands of illegal immigrants" arriving in Italy. Salvini called for a crisis meeting with Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Sunday.

Salvini said he was already in contact with Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese.

Lamorgese had also contacted Prime Minister Draghi during the weekend about the rise in numbers, ANSA said.

(With input from IANS)

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TAGS:Lampedusa Italy2000 arrive by boatMigrants to EuropeConcern in Rome
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