Europe

People smugglers disembark migrants near beach in Sicily

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Issued on: 24/05/2020 – 21:12Modified: 24/05/2020 – 21:12

People smugglers managed to disembark an estimated 70 migrants, probably all Tunisians, from two boats near a beach in Sicily on Sunday before sailing away, the Italian news agency ANSA reported, citing police.

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It was initially reported that some 400 migrants had landed on the beach and the incident sparked a helicopter search for their vessels.

This report said the boats dropped the migrants off a few metres (yards) from shore near the historic town of Agrigento in southern Sicily.

The coastguard backed by a helicopter searched for boats, ANSA said.

The migrants left the beach in small groups, setting off across the island, local press reports said.

Some stopped motorists to ask for water or for a ride, the Agrigento Notizie daily said.

The local mayor told reporters the migrants were likely all Tunisians after speaking to some of them.

Italian authorities said 52 people, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, arrived Sunday aboard a boat no more than 10 metres (35 feet) long on the small island of Linosa near Italy's southernmost island Lampedusa.

On Saturday, about 20 people arrived on board a rubber dRead More – Source