Over 4,600 Migrants Rescued by Italy in Libya Coast
The Italian Coastguard said in a statement on Wednesday that some 4,655 asylum seekers had been rescued during 30 rescue missions off the Libyan coast on Tuesday.
The statement said that the bodies of 28 refugees who had drowned were also recovered during the rescue operation.
This has brought to over 10,000 the total number of refugees rescued over the past two days.
About 6,055 migrants had already been rescued and 22 found dead on the sea route to Europe on Monday, according to Italian and Libyan officials.
The number of the people rescued on Monday is one of the highest numbers in the recent past, when countless individuals have been embarking on dangerous journeys to reach Europe in the hope of a better life.
The latest surge in new arrivals means at least 142,000 refugees have reached Italy since the start of the year, and around 3,100 have died.
Officials fear that the number of people trying to reach Italy via the sea will increase as weather conditions continue to be calm.
The coasts of Libya have turned to a launch-pad for people seeking to reach Europe.
The unsafe rubber boats that carry hundreds of refugees often capsize off Libya, especially near its western coast.
Three babies were born aboard the Italian Coast Guard ship Dattilo and brought ashore to the port of Catania on Wednesday morning.
Human traffickers have been taking advantage of the chaos gripping Libya since the 2011 revolution in the country to boost their lucrative business.
According to the UN refugee agency, some 204,000 refugees crossed the Mediterranean to Europe in the first half of 2016.
Europe is facing an unprecedented influx of refugees, most of whom are fleeing conflict-ridden zones in Africa and the Middle East, particularly Syria.