According to Yahoo, Italy's coast guard said more than 900 migrants were rescued in four separate operations in the Strait of Sicily on Saturday, while Libyan authorities said they had rescued nearly 600 migrants from four boats, one of which sank.

A spokesman for Libyan naval forces, Ayoub Qassem, said the bodies of four dead women had been recovered, and some migrants were still missing. Italian emergency services recovered one corpse during their rescue operations.

Now into the second year of its worst migration crisis since World War Two, Europe has seen more than 1.2 million people arrive since the beginning of 2015, most of them from Africa and the Middle East.

Italy's coast guard has continued to pick up migrants in trouble in the stretch of water between its southern coast and North Africa, although most people seeking a better life in Europe have taken less dangerous routes to Greece.

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