A group of 75 people has been taken to Malta after they were found stranded on a tuna pen in the Mediterranean. The navy said it picked up the migrants on Wednesday night.
On Thursday, the condition and nationalities of the migrants was still not known, according to dpa.
The Maltese army said it had been involved in several joint rescue operations with the Italian coastguard and “in support” of the Libyan coastguard. The Italian rescuers took another group of migrants to Lampedusa Island.
Recent fine weather conditions have seen large numbers of people attempting the journey from Libya to Europe.
Calls for urgent rescue of 90 more migrants
Another 90 people have been stranded at sea for more than 35 hours, according to the German NGO Sea Watch. “The Italian Navy is waiting for the Libyan coastguard, even though human lives are at risk,” Sea Watch said in a tweet. Alarm Phone, the hotline for migrants at sea, has reported that a five-year-old child on board has died.
Malta feels pressure, despite drop in migrant crossings
Malta has repeatedly asked the EU for help in dealing with migrants trying to reach the island. More than 500 migrants have reached Malta this year, while 1,425 have made it to Italy, which has a population 130 times larger.
So far this year, 24,687 migrants have reached Europe, according to the International Organization for Migration. The number is well below the record of around one million for the same period in 2015, and 144,000 last year. Among EU member states, Spain received the most migrants last year, at around 65,000.