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Tuesday, 23 August, 2011, 3:37 ( 1:37 GMT )
2,000 Migrants Land on Italian Island
15/08/2011 14:37:00
About 2 000 migrants from north Africa have arrived on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa this weekend, with about 100 women and 40 children including three babies among those who reached the Mediterranean island between Saturday morning and Sunday morning on a dozen boats.

Italian news agency ANSA that reported the the news, said that Iitlian coast guards spotted two more boats on Sunday carrying several hundred migrants off Lampedusa's southern coast.

In southwestern Sardinia two boats carrying 45 men, one woman and two children landed overnight on Saturday.

An earlier report put the number of arrivals this weekend at 1 600.

Since the start of the year, more than 11 000 Africans fleeing conflicts in north Africa have landed in southern Italy, in increasing numbers since NATO air raids on Libya began in mid-March and the weather improved.

According to the Catholic aid group Sant'Egidio, at least 1,820 migrants from North Africa, most originally from south of the Sahara, have drowned this year in the Mediterranean in their bid to reach Europe.
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