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Italy rescues 1,600 boat migrants over weekend

The Italian Navy rescues a boatload of migrants on June 14, 2014More than 1,600 migrants were rescued by the Italian navy and coast guard this weekend, authorities said Sunday, as the annual arrivals toll crept towards a record high. Seven boats, many of them carrying children, were intercepted in a 24-hour period between Saturday and Sunday, bringing the total number of migrants arriving on Italian shores this year to above 60,000. Some experts even believe the number could reach 100,000, with warm weather encouraging migrants from north Africa, and particularly from Libya, to make the crossing. Italy has long borne the brunt of migrants making the perilous crossing from North Africa to Europe, but EU border agency Frontex says there has been a significant rise in numbers in recent months.

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