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1,200 migrants reach Italian island in largest single day arrival this year

1,200 migrants reach Italian island in largest single day arrival this year
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More than 1,200 migrants arrived at Italy's Lampedusa island within a span of twelve hours on Sunday, the Associated Press reported.

Lampedusa Mayor Salvatore Martello told state TV it was the largest single day arrival this year, according to the AP. The first ships arrived at 5 a.m, and nine more boats arrived later in the day. 

Martello added that weather might be a reason why a record number of migrants came across shore.

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“I’ve said all you need is a day of good weather to see (all) these boats,” Martello, according to the AP. 

Italian coast guard vessels and other authorities spotted the boats a few miles offshore and they escorted them in.

According to an Italian newspaper cited by the AP, most of the migrants were from Bangladesh and Tunisia and arrived in wooden or metal boats. Most were men, though a number of the new arrivals were women and children.

Italy has few agreements with countries whose citizens seek asylum, so many of the migrants end staying in Italy or other countries in Europe, according to the AP.  

Right-wing League party leader Matteo Salvini urged Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi to take action on this issue.

“A meeting with President Draghi is necessary, with millions of Italians in difficulty we cannot think of thousands of illegal immigrants (already 12,000 landed since the beginning of the year, almost 1,000 just this morning),” Salvini tweeted.

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