5,629 migrants are rescued from Mediterranean this weekend as traffickers take advantage of calmer seas

Almost 6,000 migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean over the weekend, as traffickers took advantage of clement weather and calmer seas to dispatch dozens of boats.

Between Friday and Sunday 5,629 migrants were picked up in the Sicilian Channel. Italy is the first port of call for migrants seeking new lives in Europe. 160,000 made the journey last year, often on unseaworthy and overcrowded vessels.

Nine bodies were recovered after a boat carrying more than 150 people capsized off the coast of Libya, the Italian coast guard said. 144 were rescued…