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Over 650 people rescued from boats off Libya, body recovered

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Rome: More than 650 people have been plucked to safety in the Mediterranean and one body recovered, the Italian coastguard said today, as migrants continue to attempt the perilous crossing to Europe despite the winter weather.

The coastguard rescued 360 people from three rubber dinghies, while the Doctors Without Border’s boat Bourbon Argos picked up another 96 and 95 migrants from rickety vessels adrift off Libya.

The Italian navy said one of its vessels had rescued another 100 migrants and recovered a body.

More than one million migrants and refugees reached Europe this year, including over 970,000 who made the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday.

A total of 3,692 migrants died or disappeared crossing the Mediterranean sea this year, the International Organization for Migration said.