Some 70 migrants made it to the Italian island of Lampedusa after a Tunisian fishing boat discovered their vessel 29 kilometres off land, the Italian coastguard said.
The coastguard said Malta should have been responsible for the rescue operation, but the people in boat were taken to Lampedusa, according to numerous media reports on Saturday.
Whether the Italian coastguard rescued the people on board or simply escorted the boat into harbour remains unclear.
‘Seventy people had their lives saved by the Italian coastguard and are safe in the harbour of Lampedusa,’ the NGO Mediterranea, which operates an observation ship in the Mediterranean sea, tweeted early Saturday.
Those on the boat were from Eritrea, Ghana and Syria, and had been on board for around 35 hours, according to Italian news agency Ansa.
Ever since Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini implemented a rigorous anti-migration policy, very few migrants have been able to make it to the country.
So far in October some 400 people have arrived, according to the Interior Ministry.
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