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First migrant boat from Libya lands on Italian island

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First migrant boat from Libya lands on Italian island


A boat from Libya carrying more than 300 African would-be immigrants on Saturday landed on the Italian island of Lampedusa.

The UN refugee agency since an uprising against Colonel Gaddafi’s four-decade rule began five weeks ago.

Some 15,000 people have arrived in Lampedusa since the Tunisian revolution in January.

The Italian government says it is unable to cope with the influx and wants the European Union to help.

Lampedusa is just 150 kilometres across the Mediterranean Sea from Tunisia.

There are currently around 5,000 people from North Africa staying on the tiny island. That number is equal to the local population.

Lampedusa has an immigration centre that can host just 800 hundred people.

Hundreds of African immigrants have since been flown or ferried off the island to other parts of Italy.

Rome fears thousands more could flood onto Italian shores if Colonel Gaddafi’s regime eventually falls.

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