Migrants pulled from overloaded boat by Italian navy

Matthew Price, on board an Italian navy ship, watched the rescue unfold

A BBC crew has filmed the rescue of some 270 migrants by the Italian navy from an overloaded boat in the Mediterranean.

The crew recorded the moments that dozens of people were taken off the boat, the Ibrahim, and put in Italian navy dinghies. Most of those on board were refugees from Syria.

Up to 20 boats a day are said to be leaving Libya, carrying migrants trying to reach Europe. About 10,000 people have reached Italy every month since the start of 2013 and Italy estimates it has saved some 50,000 migrants so far this year.

Many people have died trying to reach Italy. Last October, 366 people drowned when their boat capsized off the island of Lampedusa.

Italy has put the cost of its operation, Mare Nostrum (Our Sea), at 9m euros (£7m; $12m) per month and is set to ask the European Union's border agency Frontex to take charge of the mission.

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