A group of some 90 migrants was rescued by a patrol boat of the Armed Forces of Malta on Tuesday and taken to one of three Captain Morgan tourist boats being used as holding centres just outside territorial waters.

The AFM in a one-line statement said 18 women and nine children were brought to Malta for humanitarian reasons. 

Malta closed its ports to asylum seekers in April and told the EU it could not guarantee the resources needed to conduct rescues at sea, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The move came just as fair weather encouraged migrant departures from the north African coast.  

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The first of the Captain Morgan boats was anchored on Hurd's Bank off Malta almost a month ago and was later joined by another two, carrying a total of some 300 migrants, as diplomatic efforts for their relocation are made.

 

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