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Nearly 6,000 immigrants died on the frontiers of Europe since 1988

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  • #46
    ALGIERS, August 13, 2007 (Reuters) - Relatives of dozens of missing Algerian illegal migrants who have set sail for Europe this year have appealed to authorities to help trace them.

    Kamel Belabed, whose 25-year-old son has not been heard from since he set off for Europe in April, told Monday's El Watan newspaper that many of the young men who set off from Annaba, near the Tunisian border, could be dead or in detention.

    "As for my son, I did not know anything about his plan," he said. "Entire waves of youth disappear and give no further sign of life."

    "No one can give us the number of our fellow citizens buried in Tunisia, Libya, Sardinia or Malta ... The authorities should help us, logistically and judicially.

    "We know the Tunisians, Libyans and Italians are sovereign on their soil ... if there are people in prison, we need to be told, and if they are dead, they should tell us."

    Only one body of a would-be migrant had been found washed up on the coast at Annaba since January, he said.

    It is often difficult to identify illegal migrants because they destroy their identity papers after departure.

    Coastguards say that during 2006 they found a total of 42 bodies along Algeria's coastline, most or all apparently illegal migrants.

    The European Union has urged North African countries to do more to stop the flow of illegal migrants trying to reach Europe via Italy and Spain, the entry points that most aim for.

    Algeria is also a transit point for migrants from elsewhere. Over the past six years, it has arrested 35,000 illegal migrants from 55 African and Arab countries, and deported 32,000 of them, newspapers say.

    The Algerian government said recently it was tightening measures to cope with the growing number of illegal migrants.

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    • #47
      August 14, 2007 -- Twenty-four illegal immigrants reached St George’s Bay in Birzebbuġia on Tuesday morning. The boatload, consisting of twenty men and four women was first reported to Police at around 1000CEST, after being sighted off the coast of Marsaxlokk.

      Additionally, another group of seven illegal immigrants, including one man, two women and four children, were brought ashore at Haywharf on Monday at 2230CEST. Police investigations in both cases are underway.

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      • #48
        ROME, August 14, 2007 -- Italian police launched boats and helicopters off the coast of Sardinia late Monday to intercept about 100 illegal immigrants who had crossed the Mediterranean on five small boats, the ANSA news agency said.

        Twenty-seven immigrants had already arrived on the island overnight Sunday, part of the steady summer stream of immigrants heading to Europe from the Algerian coast.

        Earlier in the day, the Algerian coastguard had to rescue 25 Algerian immigrants after the two boats they were in got into trouble off the northeastern port of Annaba, the national APS news agency reported.

        Between October 2006 and June 2007, 112 immigrants were picked up by the coastguard based at Annaba, located near the Tunisian border.

        Meanwhile, in the Italy's southern port of Bari, 26 Iraqi and two Iranian illegal immigrants were found hiding in a truck that had arrived from Greece, to where they were later returned, ANSA said.

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            • #51
              Rome, August 14, 2007 - Large numbers of illegal immigrants landed on the Italian islands of Sardinia, Sicily and Lampedusa in the past 24 hours, coast guard services said Tuesday. In the space of a few hours several boats carrying 130 men from Algeria were headed off by coast guard vessels off Sardinia and taken to the port of Cagliari.

              Another 43 people, many of them women, landed on Lampedusa, where 24 illegal immigrants had landed hours earlier. All were taken to a new reception camp. At the weekend 260 people landed on the island.

              Another 18 men, presumed to have started out from North Africa, landed on Sicily. The influx had been put down to calm seas encouraging the risky Mediterranean crossings.

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              • #52
                Rome, August 14, 2007 - The Italian military has counted the bodies of at least 14 apparent refugees floating in the water south of the island of Lampedusa, the latest morbid harvest in a renewed wave of attempted illegal migration amidst favourable weather conditions.

                The bodies were all wearing life vests, but there was no boat floating near them at the discovery point 50 nautical miles south of the island, the Italian navy said late Tuesday.

                Earlier estimates by military pilots put the number of dead at ten. A total of six bodies have been recovered by military and coastguard vessels, officials said.

                The exact circumstances of the latest Mediterranean drowning tragedy where not known. Officials said it appeared the bodies had been in the water since Friday, possibly after a rubber dingy from North Africa sank Friday in Maltese waters.

                Survivors reported that 14 passengers were missing.

                Coastguard officials also on Tuesday evening intercepted a rubber dinghy with around 45 migrants aboard off Lampedusa.

                The latest events bring to 300 the number of would-be immigrants that are believed to have attempted the crossing from North Africa to Italy in one day alone: some 230 migrants landed on the islands of Sardinia, Sicily and Lampedusa within a matter of hours.

                Meanwhile a trafficking gang is believed to have been responsible for smuggling some 17 Iraqi Kurds found aboard a car ferry in the Adriatic port of Brindisi, which had set out from Greece.

                One Turkish national and an Armenian were arrested on suspicion of people-smuggling, while the Kurds were to be deported.

                Officials say good weather and calms seas are responsible for the spike in attempted illegal migration.

                Italian news agency Ansa reported the interception by coastguard officials of a boat with 150 migrants aboard off the coast of Sardinia. The Algerian nationals were escorted to the port of Cagliari.

                Some 43 would-be immigrants, many of them women, meanwhile landed on Lampedusa, just hours after an earlier group of 24. A further 18 men reached the south coast of Sicily in their boat.

                Some 260 Africans had landed on Lampedusa over the weekend.

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                • #53
                  Almeria, Spain, August 16, 2007 - More than 90 would-be immigrants from Africa arrived in Spain overnight and on Thursday morning, rescuers and police said.

                  Sixty-six North African men were rescued from a vessel off Almeria on the southern coast.

                  Two other boats meanwhile reached the Canary Island of Lanzarote. Most of their occupants fled, but 32 were detained immediately or later on. The detainees included two women and at least one child.

                  Press reports meanwhile said that more than 60 Algerians had arrived on the southern coast near Murcia over the past week.

                  The migrants came on small vessels with weak motors which were unlikely to have succeeded in making the 250-kilometre journey from the Algerian coast.

                  Police suspected the migrants were brought close to the coast on bigger vessels by drug traffickers attempting to distract police. More than 1.7 tons of Moroccan hashish were found on beaches near Murcia.

                  The number of African undocumented immigrants crossing the sea to Spain has dropped by 55 per cent to around 8,000 this year.

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                        • #59
                          Samedi 1 Septembre 2007 -- Plus de 400 immigrés clandestins ont été interceptés, vendredi, au large de la Sicile et de la Sardaigne, selon les garde-côtes italiens. Une embarcation avec * son bord 208 personnes, dont 57 femmes et 19 enfants, a été interceptée au petit matin * une vingtaine de kilomètres de la Sicile par une vedette des douaniers, alors qu'elle patrouillait * la recherche d'un autre bateau signalé par les autorités maltaises. Deux autres embarcations ont été contrôlées dans la matinée au large de la Sicile, l'une avec 29 personnes * son bord, dont 6 femmes et 1 nouveau-né, et l'autre avec 36 migrants. Les garde-côtes ont également intercepté dans l'après-midi une embarcation avec 132 personnes * bord, des Palestiniens et des Kurdes, au large de la Sardaigne. Jeudi, près de cent personnes avaient été interceptées au large des côtes de la Sicile et de la Sardaigne. Selon des chiffres publiés mardi par le ministère de l'Intérieur, les arrivées en Italie de migrants clandestins par la mer sont en baisse depuis le début de l'année 2007 avec 12 419 personnes contre 14 511 durant la même période en 2006.

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                          • #60

                            Algeria, 11 September, 2007 (AKI) - The Algerian coastguard detained overnight 86 would-be immigrants to Italy, according to the Algerian authorities, quoted by Algerian French language daily Liberte on Tuesday.

                            The illegal migrants were aboard five 10 metre fishing boats intercepted by the coastguard 22 miles off the Algerian coastal city of Annaba after a chase.

                            The would-be immigrants, all aged between 17 and 25 hail from various regions in Algeria, mostly from the east. They had been hoping to reach the Italian island of Sardinia.

                            A further 20 young Algerian would-be immigrants were intercepted by Algerian coastguards last Saturday shortly after they set sail for Sardinia from Sidi-Salem beach, close to Annaba, which lies to the east of the Algerian capital, Algiers.

                            In a gesture of desperation one of the group doused the boat with petrol and set it alight, causing panic among his fellow passengers. The coastguard had to rescue many of the would-be immigrants from the sea after they threw themselves overboard, Liberte reported.

                            The sea crossing from Algeria to Sardina has emerged this year as a new route for illegal immigrants heading for Italy. Scores of young men have reached the Italian island in what are apparently pilot runs by the people trafffickers.

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