Migrants rescued

ROME: More than 4,600 people have been plucked to safety from unseaworthy boats off the Libyan coast, the Italian coastguard said on Sunday, as migrants took advantage of calmer waters to attempt the perilous journey across the Mediterranean. On Saturday alone, the coastguard operations centre in Rome coordinated nine rescues, pulling 1,123 people to safety from two boats and seven inflatable dinghies. According to the United Nations, the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe fell by more than a third last month, due to bad weather and a Turkish crackdown on traffickers in the Aegean on the route to Greece. The 4,600-plus migrants who attempted the crossing between Thursday and Saturday were encouraged by the calmer waters to set off for the nearest Italian coast.