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Thousands of migrants swamp Lampedusa

Thousands of migrants swamp Lampedusa
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Hundreds of migrants continue to pour into the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Officials at Lampedusa’s only detention centre say they have been overwhelmed in recent days. The facility is designed to house 850 people, some 2,500 immigrants are currently crammed in there.

As many as 9,000 people have arrived on the tiny island following popular revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt and violence in Libya.

There are reports that 35 migrants lost their lives after their boat sank between the Tunisian coast and the island, five others were rescued by the coastguard.

A Moroccan vessel, that set sail from the coast of Libya, carrying one and half thousand migrants has been turned back by authorities. Italy has described the situation as a “humanitarian emergency.”