The Italian navy has rescued more than two hundred migrants from three boats in the Mediterranean.
The vessels were intercepted about 120 nautical miles (approximately 222 kilometres), south of the island of Lampedusa.
Rough sea conditions hampered the rescue operation.
The group of migrants included 20 women and two children.
No details of where they are from were immediately available.
Since October 18, the Italian Navy has been running Operation Mare Nostrum, ‘our sea’.
It was initiated after numerous migrant vessels sank, causing many of their occupants to drown.
Those rescued will be taken to land, where they will receive medical care and food.