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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 May 2006, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
Migrants land on Italian island
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About 500 immigrants have arrived on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, in one of the largest such landings it has experienced.

The migrants were reported to have arrived on a fishing boat, before being taken to the island's holding centre.

The centre was built to house 190 people, but reports said it was now holding at least 650.

The route from Libya to Italy's Mediterranean islands is common for people from Africa and the Middle East.

The nationality and point of departure of the migrants who arrived on Wednesday morning is not yet known.

The website of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported 10 women were among them, and that they arrived on a 27-metre (89ft) fishing boat.

It added that about 170 illegal immigrants had arrived on the island, which lies between Sicily and Libya, on Tuesday.

More than 10,000 illegal immigrants landed on Lampedusa in 2004.

Many of those who make the journey are believed to pay as much as $1,000 (543) each for the chance to reach Europe.




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