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Italy migrant crisis a 'ticking timebomb'

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Italy migrant crisis a 'ticking timebomb'

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There have been renewed protests on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa over the government’s response to its immigration crisis.

More boats carrying mostly young North African men arrive regularly on the small fishing island, each time sparking angry demonstrations at the port.

Residents occupied the town hall and threatened to close off supplies and services unless thousands of illegal migrants are moved off tomorrow.

The head of Sicily’s regional health authority, Massimo Russo, said the “ultimatum is based on what’s happening on the ground. We’re sitting on a ticking timebomb.”

Thousands of migrants, searching for work in mainland Europe, have swept into Lampedusa on fishing boats and small crafts since the Tunisian uprising loosened tight frontier checks.