Spain: Children and women among 329 migrants rescued at sea

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Spain: Children and women among 329 migrants rescued at sea
In this Saturday Jan. 27, 2018, photo, 329 refugees and migrants, mostly from Eritrea and Bangladesh, wait to be rescued by aid workers after leaving Libya trying to reach European soil aboard an overcrowded wooden boat, 45 miles north of Al-Khums, Libya. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)

MADRID (AP) — Spanish officials say more than 300 people including newborns have been rescued from a wooden boat off Libya’s coast and taken to an Italian port.

The Defense Ministry said water was flooding the boat when rescuers reached it Saturday northeast of the Libyan town of Misrata.

The ministry said a Spanish frigate working on a European border patrol mission and a vessel of the Spanish non-governmental organizations Proactiva Open Arms transferred 329 people from the wooden boat. The migrants included 95 women, three of them pregnant, and 17 children — some of them newborns.

The International Organization for Migration says 4,742 migrants entered Europe by sea this year through Jan. 25, and that 206 others died en route.

The ministry said Monday the migrants were taken Sunday to Italy.