U.N. urges Europe to start major migrant rescue mission in Mediterranean

February 12, 2015 11:35 AM

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GENEVA (Reuters) - The European Union (EU) must establish a full-scale search-and-rescue operation to avoid more tragedies involving migrants in the Mediterranean, the United Nations' chief refugee official said on Thursday.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres was speaking after more than 300 people died trying to cross the sea from Africa to Italy this week, adding pressure on Europe to expand a border operation that lacks a clear mandate to save lives.

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