"--IANS/EFE"
Rome, April 9 - The Italian Navy said Tuesday that it intercepted three vessels carrying 1,049 African migrants, including 91 children, en route to Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.

The vessels were in distress Monday when they were spotted by aerial patrols, the navy said in a statement.

Two patrol boats joined the frigates Maestrale and Euro in the operation to rescue the migrants, who are expected to reach the Sicilian ports of Augusta and Pozzallo later Tuesday, it added.

The group of migrants includes 91 children, three of them infants.

Italian naval units rescued a total of 730 migrants a week ago.

Monday's operation brought the number of African migrants rescued at sea by the Italian navy in last week to nearly 1,300.

--IANS/EFE

sd


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