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About 10,000 migrants rescued off Libya coast in 4 days, as 54 die

About 10,000 migrants were rescued off the coast of Libya over the previous four days but at least 54 others died, Libyan and Italian officials said on Saturday.

Unloading of passengers in Sicily was halted all week amid G7 summit in eastern hilltop town of Taormina.

On Saturday, the Tunisian army also rescued 126 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa hoping to reach Italian shores, officials said. They were aboard a flimsy inflatable boat off the coastal town of Ben Gardane, near the Libyan border.

On Friday, more than 1,200 migrants were rescued by Libyan ships and taken to Tripoli or Zawiya, about 50km west, while the Italian coastguard and commercial boats rescued 2,200 others and took them to Italy.

At least 10 bodies were also found by the Italian coastguard, officials said.

Migrants were still disembarking in southern Italy on Saturday.

Another 6,400 were picked up between Tuesday and Thursday, but at least 44 people died, including 35 who drowned on Wednesday when a powerful wave struck their vessel, pitching them into the sea as a rescue ship was distributing life jackets.

Officials expressed fears that many more people were still missing at sea.

The unloading of passengers in Sicily was halted all week amid the G7 summit in the eastern hilltop town of Taormina, which lengthened rescue ships’ journey by 24 hours and delayed their return to the seas…

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