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Italy Allows Rescue Ship to Disembark Migrants

Doctors Without Border said the ship group comprised 58 men, 6 women and 18 children.

Eighty-two migrants have disembarked on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa after six days at sea.

Italy says it is allowing the ship, the Ocean Viking, to offload the migrants as most of those on board will be relocated to other EU countries.

“The Ocean Viking just received instructions from the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre of Rome to proceed to Lampedusa,” SOS Mediterranee tweeted.

The migrants were transferred from the Ocean Viking to a coastguard vessel before being taken ashore, according to Italian media.

The Ocean Viking was on its second mission and was shuttling between Malta and Italy for nearly two weeks, seeking a port to land the migrants.  Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), which runs the ship jointly with SOS Mediterranee, said the group comprised 58 men, 6 women and 18 children.

The move signals a change of approach to migration from the new coalition which took office on Tuesday.

Ex-Interior Minister Matteo Salvini routinely blocked access to charity-run migrant vessels.

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