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Egypt: Coast guard rescues migrant boat bound for Italy

last update: June 14, 18:09

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14 June (AKI) - The Egyptian coast guard has rescued 87 people aboard a boat that set sail for Italy and risked sinking, according to Egyptian newspaper al-Youm al-Sabaa.

The migrants on Monday were intercepted 12 miles off the Egyptian coast near Alexandria in the country's north, according to the report.

Shortly after embarking for Italy the boat experienced mechanical trouble prompting one of the passengers to call for help.

Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants have reached Italian shores this year since uprisings in the Arab world toppled governments, sparked civil wars and left an authority void when it comes to patrolling coasts.

From 1 January to 23 May more than 1,400 people reportedly perished in the Strait of Sicily aboard boats sailing toward Lampedusa, according to Fortress Europe, an Italian blog that tracks the deaths through media reports.

Most migrants land on the tiny southern Italy island Lampedusa, which is closer to Tunisia than the Italian mainland.

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