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NATO accused of failing to help refugees

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NATO accused of failing to help refugees

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Italy’s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini is calling on NATO to investigate claims that an alliance warship failed to help refugees fleeing Libya when their boat got into difficulties.

The Italian coastguard rescued up to 300 people but it is estimated that around 100 of the migrants died from hunger, dehydration and asphyxiation.

They were attempting to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa, which has been the destination of thousands of refugees in recent months.

Italy is calling on NATO to widen its UN remit on Libya to include the rescue of migrants fleeing North Africa in overcrowded or unsafe boats.

This is not the first time NATO has been accused of failing to come to the rescue of refugees in the same waters.