• Reuters

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Italian naval patrol ships rescued more than 3,500 migrants, including hundreds of women and children, on boats coming from North Africa, authorities said on Saturday. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called for help from the EU.

The rescues, which the coast guard said had been going on since Friday evening, are the latest in a seemingly endless succession as the chronic migrant crisis in the southern Mediterranean has picked up this year. Some 43,000 people have crossed from North Africa to Italy so far this year — the same amount as in the whole of 2013, the coast guard said.