Italian ship carrying 151 rescued migrants docks in Sicily
Rescue ship Alan Kurdi took another 88 migrants to Italian mainland earlier on Sunday
An Italian offshore supply vessel has taken 151 migrants to Sicily after rescuing them in waters off Libya on Saturday.
The Asso Trenta docked at Pozzallo with the migrants on Sunday. It was not immediately clear if they would stay in Italy or be distributed among other EU countries.
Hours earlier, a German charity’s rescue boat, Alan Kurdi, had taken 88 migrants at Taranto to the Italian mainland.
Under an EU-brokered deal, 67 of them will go to four other countries, while the others will stay in Italy.
A Taranto official, Gabriella Ficocelli, told the Italian news agency Ansa the migrants included five unaccompanied children who were “tired and tried by the voyage”.
They disembarked eight days after being rescued in the Mediterranean Sea from Libyan traffickers’ unseaworthy vessels.
The German humanitarian group Sea-Eye, which operates the vessel, had pressed Italy for days to let it land the passengers.
The boat received docking permission on Friday after Germany and France agreed to take 60 of the migrants, while Portugal is taking five, Ireland two and the rest will remain in Italy.
Italy has closed its ports to the vessels in recent years, contending that aid ships encourage human trafficking, allowing docking only after other European countries pledge to take migrants.
Updated: November 4, 2019 03:12 AM