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Gambians among 69 migrants rescued after shipwrecks on Lampedusa Island

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Italian rescue teams managed to rescue 69 people yesterday in waters near the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, after two shipwrecks in which at least two people died, a report said.

According to statements by a spokesman for the rescuers, a two-year-old child and a pregnant woman died, while 34 were found on a cliff, including two women in an advanced state of pregnancy.

The Coast Guard personnel involved in the operation had to face waves of up to four meters to help the victims of the catastrophe, after two small vessels from the coast of Sfax, Tunisia, capsised, loaded with an unknown number of migrants, 30 of whom are still missing.

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Most of them are nationals of sub-Saharan countries such as Ivory Coast, Gambia, Guinea, Mali and Senegal, and those rescued were transferred to the reception center of Imbriacola, in Lampedusa, with a capacity for about 400 people and which currently houses 2,250 migrants, the source said.

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