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Italy: Children among 175 migrants rescued off Sicily

last update: January 30, 15:11

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Catania, 30 January (AKI) - Six children were among a total of 175 boat migrants due to reach the eastern Sicilian port city of Catania on Thursday after the Italian navy rescued them in the Strait of Sicily.

The migrants, from Syria, Egypt and Iraq, were all in good health with the exception of one person who was suffering from hypothermia, the Italian navy said in a statement.

After a surveillance operation coordinated by anti-mafia prosecutors, an Italian navy frigate seized a suspected people smugglers' 'mother ship' and arrested its 15 crew members.

Over 6,500 people have been rescued since mid-October when Italy stepped up Mediterranean patrols after more than 360 migrants drowned off Lampedusa earlier that month in one of the worst tragedies of Europe's migrant crisis.

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