23:13, 20 September 2017
watch on Dushanbe time, GMT+5
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Frenzied rescues save more than 2,000 asylum seekers

More than 2,000 asylum seekers trying to reach Europe were plucked

from the Mediterranean on Friday in a series of dramatic rescues. An Italian coast guard spokesman said 19 rescue operations by the coast guard or ships operated by non-governmental organisations had saved a total of 2,074 people on 16 overcrowded rubber dinghies and three small wooden boats. One person was found dead, the spokesman said. The Doctors Without Borders (MSF) boats Prudence and Aquarius rescued some 1,145 people from nine different dinghies in non-stop operations. The rest of the asylum seekers were picked up by the coast guard, the Phoenix - run by the Maltese Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) - the German NGO Sea Eye and the German Jugend's Iuventa.