Updated 8.30pm with second group of migrants

A second group of migrants has been rescued from a sinking boat close to Malta, the second such case in 24 hours.

The Armed Forces of Malta said the group of 97 migrants was picked up by a patrol boat 44 nautical miles south of Malta on Sunday afternoon, after their dinghy started taking in water.

Late on Sunday, the AFM said it had rescued a group of 114 migrants also found in a dinghy off Malta. The government confirmed they would remain in Malta.

A spokeswoman for the Home Affairs Ministry told Times of Malta that 22 members of the group were women.

No information was available on whether there were any children or unaccompanied migrants in the group.

The migrants came from Sudan, Cote d'Ivoire, Somalia, Bangladesh, Mali, Libya, Yemen, Guinea, Morocco, Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia and Senegal.

Read: New ship on its way to save migrant lives

Malta and Italy have clamped down on migrant rescue vessels operated by NGOs, triggering concerns that an unknown number of asylum seekers are dying at sea.

There are currently three rescue vessels being detained in Malta – a move that has been criticised as 'morally and legally questionable' by a German Social democratic delegation.

Meanwhile, EU countries continue grappling over who should take responsibility for those rescued at sea.

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