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Over 500 refugees rescued in the central Mediterranean this week still without dry land

MORE than 500 people have been rescued in the central Mediterranean by activist-run ships this week, and they are all still waiting on the European authorities to allow them to come ashore.

There are currently 145 people aboard German rescuers Sea-Watch’s ship Sea-Watch 4, and 470 on Doctors Without Borders’ (MSF) Geo Barents ship.

Another rescue ship, the Sea-Eye 4, was already carrying the 34 people her crew saved on on Monday when it saved another 24 people on Thursday night.

Both of the Sea-Eye 4’s rescues were carried out in Malta’s search-and-rescue (SAR) zone, waters in which the island nation is responsible for but frequently doesn’t bother to.

Following a rescue mission in Malta’s SAR zone on Wednesday night, MSF said: “In the last three days we rescued 470 people from drowning in the Mediterranean.

“Last night’s rescues in the Maltese SAR exposed once again the inaction of the Maltese authorities against their obligations to provide assistance to boats in distress.”

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