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Italian 'blitz' against illegal trafficking of Somali migrants to Italy, Malta

The Italian police have arrested 55 persons thought to be involved in the trafficking of Somalis to Italy, Malta, Greece and the North of Europe.

The operation, described as a 'blitz' by Italian news agency Ansa, was coordinated by police forces in Catania and Florence.

A cultural attache' in the Italian embassy in Nairobi and an employee of the World Food Programme are among those under arrest. 

The suspects are believed to have operated a network which stretched from Italy to Kenya, Libya and the Horn of Africa.

They had cells in Rome, Milan, Turin, Florence, Prato, Bergamo, Cuneo and Naples.

They provided the migrants with logistics including boats and false documents.

The Italian police are expected to seize assets held by a number of individuals over the day.

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