220 rescued migrants arrive at Catania

Some 220 migrants who were rescued at sea off the coast of Libya were taken to the Sicilian port of Catania early on Thursday.

The Italian coast guard said the migrants were travelling on two rubber boats, carrying 115 and 105 people respectively, and were rescued some 40 nautical miles from the Libyan coast.

The group, which was said to include 50 women, were taken to port just before midnight.

Public outrage over the death of up to 900 migrants last Sunday when their boat sank on its way to Europe from Libya has led EU governments to reverse last year’s decision to scale down search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.