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115 immigrants rescued off Malta

An exhausted illegal immigrant at Haywharf last night. See story on page 4. Photo:?Darrin Zammit Lupi.

An exhausted illegal immigrant at Haywharf last night. See story on page 4. Photo:?Darrin Zammit Lupi.

Over 100 illegal immigrants landed in Malta last night after they were rescued from a sinking dinghy.

The drifting vessel was first reported by a fisherman some 20 miles south of Malta and three Armed Forces patrol boats were sent to the area.

The group was composed of 81 men and 34 women. They were claiming to be Somali and had left from Libya.

Some of those on board were seasick and at least one immigrant was hospitalised. It was the first arrival of African immigrants to Malta in three weeks after a sudden decline in human trafficking in the Mediterranean this summer.

Another boat, carrying 84 migrants, was spotted 90 miles off Malta earlier in the week but returned to Libya after being intercepted by the Italian navy. A baby born on the boat was airlifted to Malta with its mother.

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