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About 2,200 migrants rescued in Mediterranean

About 2,200 migrants rescued in MediterraneanNearly 2,200 migrants were saved in 21 different rescue missions on Monday on the Mediterranean Sea, the Italian Coast Guard announced.

Migrants were found floating in 18 rubber dinghies and three smaller boats. The European Union's migrant rescue force, fishing boats and cargo ships also helped with the rescue efforts. Most of the boats in trouble came from Libya, frequently used by as a departure point for smugglers bringing people into Europe over the Mediterranean Sea.

Rescuers also reported recovering 33 bodies in the missions.

Monday's rescues come after the coast guard saved 4,000 people over the weekend. Italy has called upon the European Union to provide more help to bear the burden of rescuing migrants at sea and returning those who do not qualify for asylum. The country's interior ministry said more than 153,000 registered migrants have arrived in Italy since the beginning of 2016.

The Libya to Italy route remains one of the deadliest passages for migrants seeking refuge in Europe. Some 3,700 have died crossing the Mediterranean Sea this year according to the United Nations. Of those, more than 3,100 are estimated to have died attempting to cross into Italy from Libya.
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