Roma (ANTARA News) - More than 1,300 migrants and refugees were rescued in central Mediterranean, the Italian coast guard said on Friday, a day after Italy and Libya signed a deal to curb people smuggling in the North African country.

Overall, 13 operations were carried out by Italys navy and coast guard ships, along with other forces operating within the European Union (EU) mission EUNAVFOR, and vessels from aid groups.

On Thursday, the Italian coast guard coordinating all migrant rescue efforts in the Mediterranean said more than 1,750 migrants and refugees had been saved within 24 hours.

About 450 people had been rescued in five different operations on Thursday, and 1,300 the previous day.

Of this group, some 754 migrants and refugees including 131 unaccompanied minors were brought to the southern port of Reggio Calabria, and given first medical check and assistance, according to local authorities on Friday.

On Thursday, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj signed an agreement aimed at tackling the flows starting from the Libyan coasts.

In latest years, the North African country has become a major origin point of departure for migrants and asylum seekers, and a crucial hub for smugglers.

Temporary camps for illegal migrants would be set up on Libyas soil, according to the draft deal provided by the Italian government. Such camps would be run by officials from the Libyan Interior Ministry, and funded by the EU, with Italy providing medical assistance.

Illegal migrants in the camps would be asked to agree to voluntary return to their own countries, or would face deportation.

Such plan will be in force for the next three years, and it was overall approved by EU leaders, who gathered for a summit on the migration crisis in Malta on Feb. 2-3.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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