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Italy urges EU to take over migrant boat rescues

Immigrants, part of a group of more than 1,700 people rescued from boats in the Mediterranean, after disembarking from an Italian military ship on August 11, 2014 in the port of Reggio Calabria, ItalyItaly said Friday it wants to halt an operation to rescue boat migrants in the Mediterranean, urging the EU to take it over as the number of people crossing from north Africa surged past the 100,000 mark. Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Italy’s “Mare Nostrum” operation — a large-scale naval deployment launched after twin shipwrecks last October– could not continue for a second year and must be taken over by the EU border agency Frontex. “We do not believe that Mare Nostrum, which was a short-term project, can go on for a second year. I will do my utmost to make sure Frontex and Europe take over,” he told a press conference in Rome.

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