3,300 asylum seekers bypass Malta and arrive in Sicily

The biblical-scale exodus of asylum-seekers from Africa towards Europe continues unabated, with 3,300 arriving in various Sicilian ports over the past day.

Strangely, however, this exodus has bypassed Malta almost completely. No one seems to have any reason for this, as in the past there were cases where people landed in Malta thinking they had arrived in Sicily. Or were driven onto Maltese shores by wind and sea currents or because their boats had sprung a leak.
Yesterday alone, tugboat Asso 25 saved around 1,300 immigrants, and a fishing vessel near Marina di Ragusa saved another 250. Asso sailed towards Pozzallo helped by Italian navy ship Libra which was carrying 450 saved the previous day from the Sicily Channel.
The previous night, a further 200 migrants had been saved south of Lampedusa by naval ship San Giorgio, including 29 women (three pregnant) and 12 children. A further 266 migrants were already in Lampedusa.
Later yesterday, a further 37 migrants were expected at Porto Empedocle together with naval ship Euro with 530 immigrants. Still later, patrol boat Peluso was expected with 307 migrants.
Lega Nord’s secretary Roberto Salvini and the governor of the Lombardy region Roberto Maroni have announced they will be going to Sicily in a bid to stop the Mare Nostrum exercise by the Italian navy which is saving all these migrants.
Senator Paolo Arrigoni, also of Lega Nord, said this is a veritable invasion, with 43,000 arriving in Italy since the beginning of the year. The Renzi-Alfano government is doing worse than the Renzi one in this respect, he said. independent.com.mt
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