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Rescue ship Ocean Viking takes 104 refugees aboard off Libya

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The Ocean Viking rescue ship has taken 104 refugees, including two babies, off a rubber dinghy found in difficulties off the Libyan coast.


The French aid organisation SOS Mediterranee reported on Friday.


The organisation said that there were 40 minors in the group taken aboard the Norwegian-flagged Ocean Viking, SOS Mediterranee said on Twitter.


The Alan Kurdi rescue vessel, which is operated by the Sea-Eye organisation based in the southern German city of Regensburg, has also resumed operations in the area.


The Alan Kurdi is now receiving support from the city of Hamburg, and from the Berlin-based organisation Sea-Watch, Sea-Eye said on Friday.


Both vessels were prevented in the past from docking at Italian ports by the hard-line former interior minister, Matteo Salvini, but have had a more conciliatory approach from the new interior minister, Luciana Lamorgese.


Since the change in government in Italy in August, the country’s ports are no longer blocking entry to civilian rescue ships.


The Lamorgese has indicated a willingness to meet the aid organisations, with talks set for Rome on Oct. 25, according to Sea-Eye.


HS/MST


Edited by Halima Sheji/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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