Rome, July 21 IANS | 5 months ago

Italian authorities Monday recovered five bodies while rescuing 61 people from a sinking migrant boat south of Sicily, Italy's southern island.

A search operation was under way as the boat was reportedly carrying around 80 people, according to ANSA news agency.

The incident comes in the wake of another migrant boat sinking in waters between Libya and Malta leaving 29 people dead Sunday.

The two incidents are only the latest in a long series of migrant disasters, as Italy struggles to cope with a huge increase in the flow of migrants from North Africa.

Monday's rescue was conducted as part of the "Mare Nostrum" operation Italy launched after some 400 migrants died in two separate disasters in October last year.

Sunday's deaths prompted Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to reiterate his call for the European Union to do more to help Italy cope with the migrant crisis.

"Europe must change its immigration policy," ANSA quoted Renzi as saying in Angola Sunday.

(Posted on 21-07-2014)

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