Rome: Italian navy pulled nearly 3,000 African sea migrants to safety early Saturday, media reports said.
Four vessels were participating in the high-seas rescue operation, transferring to Sicily Island, in southern Italy, at least 2,800 migrants, Xinhua quoted Rai state television as saying.
Hundreds of migrants land in the Mediterranean country almost every day, most of them from Eritrea, Somalia and Syria. Many are now being rescued by Italian navy after the Italian government launched a sea patrol mission to prevent more fatalities following a dramatic shipwreck which killed over 300 migrants last year.
Italian authorities have said that over 30,000 sea migrants are estimated to have safely landed in the country since the patrol mission was started in October.
Rescue operations for the sea patrol mission officially cost the Italian government more than 9 million euros (over $12.3 million) every month.