Italian coastguards rescue some 300 migrants at sea

The operation involved three ships and an airplane, the coastguard said in a statement, and was carried out some 14 miles away from the tiny island's coast.

A total of 296 people, including 14 women and 8 minors, were rescued from a boat in distress due to the "prohibitive" sea conditions and the excessive number of people onboard.

Coastguard video footage showed some migrants were floating in the water as the rescue units reached the boat and this made the operation particularly complex.

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