Emilio Morenatti, The Associated Press
Published Monday, August 29, 2016 1:15PM EDT
Italian naval ships and vessels from non-government groups rescued thousands of migrants off the Libyan coast on Monday, the latest surge in desperate attempts to flee to Europe driven by war, poverty, and human traffickers.
The dramatic operation took place just 21 kilometres (13 miles) north of the town of Sabratha in Libya. Groups such as Proactiva Open Arms and Doctors Without Borders helped take on some 3,000 people who had been travelling in some 20 small wooden boats.
In images and video by The Associated Press, migrants from Eritrea and Somalia cheered as the rescue boats arrived, with some jumping into the water and swimming toward them while others carefully carried babies onto the rescue ships.
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