Malta rescues 84 boat migrants in dinghy

The Maltese navy rescued a group of 84 migrants on Friday, after the small dinghy they were sailing in got into difficulties while crossing the Mediterranean towards Europe.

The group, which included 18 women and 32 children, was taken to Malta following a joint operation with the Italian coast guard.

The migrants, who all claim to be Somali, were picked up 88 nautical miles off Malta after sounding the alarm when their vessel began taking on water.

They first boarded two Italian vessels but were later transferred to Maltese patrol boats as Malta was the closest port of call.

The migrants were in good health apart from one woman, who was hospitalised for an injured leg.

The improved weather conditions have triggered a fresh wave of illegal migration across the Mediterranean Sea, with many boats heading for Malta or the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa.