BBC News – Cargo ship carrying ‘700 migrants’ docks in Italy

30 December 2014 Last updated at 23:34 ET

An image grab taken from a video made available by the Italian military shows the Moldovan-flagged ship Blue Sky M in the Mediterranean Sea
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A cargo ship said to be carrying 700 clandestine migrants which was taken under Italian control at sea has docked in the Italian port of Gallipoli.

The Blue Sky M had apparently been abandoned by its crew and at one point seemed to be heading directly towards the Italian coast on autopilot.

Reports suggest Syrians and Kurds are among those aboard the ship.

Photos posted by the local Italian Red Cross show the ship in port with people crowding a deck.

According to one unconfirmed report, there are several dead bodies aboard the vessel and some of the people on the ship are suffering frostbite.

Italy has had to deal with a massive surge in migrants – many of them from the Middle East and the Horn of Africa – setting off on boats with hopes of reaching Europe.

The most common sea route for the clandestine voyages has been from Libya.

...(read more).

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