Italy sends socks, shoes, food to migrants stuck on boat

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ROME (AP) — The Italian coast guard is bringing socks, shoes, bread and fruit to 47 migrants who have been stranded at sea for nine days aboard a German humanitarian group’s rescue boat close to the Italian island of Sicily.

Italy’s hard-line interior minister, Matteo Salvini, refuses to let humanitarian boats that rescue migrants in the Mediterranean from smugglers’ unseaworthy vessels disembark because he contends the aid facilitates trafficking.

Sea-Watch 3 rescued the migrants on Jan. 19 in the waters off Libya.

On Sunday, three Italian opposition lawmakers and the mayor of nearby Syracuse boarded Sea-Watch3, which is a mile offshore, to inspect conditions.

Italian news agency ANSA quoted Syracuse prosecutor Fabio Scavone as saying the captain had requested psychological assistance for those aboard but added there wasn’t any medical emergency.

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