176 migrants rescued off Libya, 110 others turned back

This picture taken on October 1, 2019 shows rescued migrants disembarking from a Libyan coast guard ship in the town of Khoms, a town 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of the capital. (File/AFP)
Updated 13 October 2019

176 migrants rescued off Libya, 110 others turned back

  • Doctors Without Borders and SOS Mediterranee say their Ocean Viking ship rescued the migrants Sunday morning
  • Tunisia’s Interior Ministry said three coast guard boats pursued the smuggling boat after it left Friday night from the city of Sfax

ROME: Humanitarian groups on Sunday said they rescued 176 migrants on two rubber boats in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya while Tunisian authorities reported blocking a smuggling boat carrying 110 migrants from setting off for Italy.
Doctors Without Borders and SOS Mediterranee said their Ocean Viking ship rescued 74 migrants Sunday morning about 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the Libyan coast near an oilfield. The groups said six children were among those rescued. In the afternoon, the groups said they rescued 102 people aboard another rubber boat about 40 miles off the coast. They said 12 women, four of them pregnant, and nine children were on board.
Tunisia’s interior ministry said three coast guard boats pursued the smuggling boat after it left Friday night from the city of Sfax. Officers shouted through loudspeakers at the boat and passengers threw projectiles that injured two officers and broke windows.
The coast guard eventually forced the boat back toward Tunisia and rescued 25 migrants who had jumped into the sea.
Meanwhile, three small boats carrying migrants reached Italian shores on Sunday. ANSA, the Italian news agency, said two boats — one carrying 15 people, the other 11 — landed on the island of Lampedusa. The agency says a third boat with 15 Tunisians aboard landed in southern Sicily.


Airstrikes kill 5 in northwest rebel-held Syrian village

Updated 21 min 11 sec ago

Airstrikes kill 5 in northwest rebel-held Syrian village

  • Three women were among the victims
  • Sunday’s airstrike hit the village of Mallaja in Idlib province
BEIRUT: Syrian opposition activists say airstrikes on a rebel-held village in the country’s northwest killed five people.

The Syrian Civil Defense and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said three women were among the victims.

Sunday’s airstrike hit the village of Mallaja in Idlib province, the last major rebel stronghold in Syria.

Last week, Syrian President Bashar Assad said his forces will soon retake Idlib.

Assad said in an interview that they are now giving civilians some time to leave the area, which is dominated by al-Qaida-linked militants.

Syrian troops launched a four-month offensive on the province earlier this year, forcing hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee their homes.

A fragile cease-fire stopped the government offensive on Idlib at the end of August.