Migrant boats reported in difficulty off Libya

February 13, 2015 12:46 PM

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ROME (Reuters) - A Maltese cargo ship was heading to assist a migrant boat with around 100 people on board in difficulty off the coast of Libya on Friday, and an Italian coast guard vessel was helping two other boats, Italian coastguards said.

More than 300 African migrants have already died attempting to reach Italy from North Africa this week, highlighting the chronic migrant problem in the Mediterranean following the closure of Italy's Mare Nostrum search-and-rescue operation last October.

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