The Latest: 62 Pakistani migrants reach Italy southern port
MADRID (AP) — The Latest on migration into Europe (all times local):
Sixty-two Pakistani migrants have reached the southern Italian port of Gallipoli, in the Apulia region, after being found on a tiny island by the local coast guard.
The coast guard said Friday that all the migrants, including nine unaccompanied minors, received assistance from the Red Cross and were in good health, despite a long and distressing journey. It wasn’t clear how they had reached the small Sant’Andrea island, about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from Gallipoli.
The migrants have been transferred to a reception center in the coastal city of Otranto.
Hundreds of migrants continue to reach Italy’s southern shores in small boats and dinghies, even though rescue ships operated by NGOs in the Mediterranean are banned from docking in Italian ports, due to the hard-line policy of outgoing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.
Greek authorities and aid groups say hundreds of people arrived on the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos in more than a dozen boats in one afternoon, a significant increase in the numbers of refugees and migrants heading to Greek islands from the nearby Turkish coast.
The coast guard on Friday confirmed 13 boats carrying a total of 546 people arrived on Lesbos on Thursday afternoon, while another 32 people in another boat were rescued at sea and transported to Lesbos. A further 65 were rescued in two separate incidents off the island of Kos and the northern mainland town of Alexandroupolis.
Hundreds of people head to Greece from Turkey each week, despite a European Union-Turkey deal restricting new arrivals to the islands pending deportation or a successful asylum application.
Fifteen adults from a group of migrants at the center of a standoff between their rescuers and the Italian government have arrived in southern Spain on board a navy ship.
The Spanish Navy’s Audaz vessel has returned to a port in Cadiz after collecting the migrants, including one woman, who are from seven different countries.
They were rescued in the Mediterranean Sea in early August by the Spanish aid group Open Arms but were blocked from disembarking by Italian authorities.
Spain, Portugal, Germany, France and Luxembourg eventually agreed to accept them and an Italian prosecutor ordered the emergency evacuation of those aboard after 19 days at sea amid worsening conditions.
Spain says the migrants have been granted a special entry authorization and will be informed of their right to apply for asylum at a temporary processing center.
Authorities in Ceuta say that around 100 migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa have successfully crossed into the Spanish enclave after jumping over fences that separate it from Morocco.
The central government’s delegation in Ceuta says that several migrants clung to the top of a 6-meter-tall (19.5 feet) fence after law enforcement officers showed up to stop them in the early hours of Friday.
The delegations says they were part of a larger group who attempted the crossing at a breakwater where the 8.2-kilometer (5-mile) double fence meets the sea.
Five Civil Guard officers have been taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.
This is the first crossing attempt in Ceuta in over a year. In July, over 200 people tried to cross into Melilla, Spain’s other North African enclave.