They came from Syria, Bangladesh, Palestine, Egypt and Pakistan on board a reportedly overcrowded fishing boat.
A humanitarian vessel carrying over 600 migrants reached the southern Italian port of Bari on Tuesday. Among the migrants were 151 minors, 20 of whom were children under the age of 13 as well as 11 women. Some of the rescuees needed urgent medical attention after being at sea for days.
The migrants were rescued on Saturday in the Sicilian Channel by the Geo Barents, a humanitarian ship operated by the NGO Doctors without Borders (MSF). The ship conducted a three-hour rescue operation to help the migrants.
The NGO was alerted by Italian Maritime rescue authorities, while they were conducting naval rescue exercises near Sicily. Rome asked the Geo Barents to intervene under the supervision of the Italian Coast Guard. They were then assigned the port of Bari as a safe harbour for the migrants to disembark after a 40-hour journey.