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Boat with 15 Tunisians aboard 'adrift in Maltese waters'

SECURITY
Boat with 15 Tunisians aboard 'adrift in Maltese waters'

Photo: AFP

Italy on Friday said it asked Maltese authorities to intervene in the case of a small boat with 15 Tunisian migrants on board that was adrift in Malta's search and rescue area of the Mediterranean, interior ministry sources said.

"Italy is requesting La Valletta to intervene - so far without any response," said the sources, adding that the boat had run out of fuel.

The interior ministry "is working on innovative and effective solutions" to handle 184 Tunisian migrants who landed on the tiny southern island of Lampedusa overnight after transiting Maltese waters, the sources said.

Earlier on Friday, at a meeting in Vienna with European Union counterparts, Italy's hardline interior minister Matteo Salvini blasted Malta for its alleged lack of solidarity over boat migrants.

"We contact Maltese authorities dozens of times but have received no response. We hear talk of burden sharing and solidarity but we are still waiting for this," Salvini stated.

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