Italy has reportedly agreed to accept 140 illegal immigrant who were rescued in the Mediterranean.
They are on board a Turkish cargo ship that found them drifting in two boats 80 kilometres south of the Italian island of Lampudusa. Italy had insisted the ship should be taken to Malta, which is responsible for search and rescue in the central Mediterranean. But Malta claimed under international agreements the migrants should be landed at the nearest safe point, in this case Lampedusa. On Friday up to 300 illegal immigrants arrived in Sicily after their boat was escorted there by the Italian coastguard. Italy and Malta are struggling to cope with waves of migrants arriving illegally from north Africa.