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Striking Photos Show How Determined Migrants Still Are To Reach Europe

By   /  August 30, 2016  /  Comments Off on Striking Photos Show How Determined Migrants Still Are To Reach Europe

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Thousands have been saved in harrowing rescue missions over the last two days.

08/29/2016 03:55 pm ET

Migrants and refugees are still fleeing their homes and going to extremes to reach Europe, despite closed borders and increasingly stringent immigration laws.

About 3,000 people, mostly from Eritrea and Somalia, were rescued in the Mediterranean Sea on Monday, only a few miles off the coast of Libya.

Doctors Without Borders worked with a Spanish nongovernmental organization to carry out the rescue. They intercepted one wooden boat and 15 rubber boats that had left Libya and were headed toward Sicily.

The scene on Sunday was equally grim: NGOs rescued 1,100 migrants in the Strait of Sicily, Italy’s coast guard reports.

According to the U.N. Refugee Agency, more than 105,000 people have made it to Italy so far this year ― about the same number of refugees that arrived in the country during all of 2015. Several thousand have died while trying to make the crossing from Libya.

Africans fleeing poverty or dictatorial regimes have been using this route for decades, but more and more refugees from countries like Syria and Iraq are now choosing to travel through Libya instead of seeking entry to Greece via Turkey. A deal struck between Turkey and the European Union in March sealed many of the borders from Greece further west.

The photos are even more staggering than the numbers, as they show people without lifejackets swimming to safety, as well as people leaping into the water and clinging to the sides of vessels:

  • AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
    A man holds himself on the side of a boat after jumping off a crowded wooden boat in to the sea during a rescue operation Monday.
  • AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
    Migrants, most of them from Eritrea, jump into the water from a crowded wooden boat as members of an NGO help them during a rescue operation in the Mediterranean Sea, about 13 miles north of Sabratha, Libya.
  • AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
    A man carries his 5-day-old son after being rescued.
  • AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
    A migrant from Eritrea grabs onto a raft after jumping into the water during a rescue operation.
  • AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
    A boy stands in a wooden boat carrying more than 700 migrants before being rescued. Thousands of migrants and refugees were rescued Monday morning from more than 20 boats.
  • AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
    People clamor to get off the boat they boarded in Libya and into rescuers’ hands.
  • AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
    Some of the migrants swimming to find safety aren’t even given lifejackets.
  • Giorgos Moutafis / Reuters
    A member of the Spanish NGO Proactiva rescues a Somali migrant who fell from an overcrowded dinghy on Sunday.
  • Giorgos Moutafis / Reuters
    An air worker rescues a migrant from Eritrea as others cling to a floatation rescue device.
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