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AFM monitors migrants' boat - some 200 on board

Updated - Friday morning

The Armed Forces of Malta are monitoring a boat believed to be carrying between 150 and 200 African migrants which issued an SOS call in the Maltese search and rescue area early yesterday.

Informed sources said that the boat had been located but did not appear in distress and was continuing to head North.

The migrants raised the alarm in a call through a satellite phone to a priest in Italy who informed the Italian coast guard. Sources told timesofmalta.com that some distress calls were also made to Africans residing in Malta. The migrants are mostly Eritrean.

The AFM deployed a maritime search aircraft and patrol boat P-61. 

Meanwhile another boat carrying 81 migrants arrived in Lampedusa this morning, the second such arrival in as many days. An AFM aircraft coordinated the first rescue of migrants by the Italian coast guard.

Another boat carrying 77 migrants arrived in Malta on Sunday.

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