martedì 10 giugno 2014

Eight Italian soldiers test positive for TB after rescues

Navy chief says infected military members not sick with disease

(ANSA) - Rome, June 10 - Eight members of the Italian Navy involved in migrant rescue operations have tested positive for tuberculosis, but not are ill, the Navy Chief of Staff Giuseppe De Giorgi said Tuesday.

The eight have been involved in the Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) rescue operations that began last October after about 400 migrants were killed trying to make the perilous sea journey from North Africa and the Middle East to Europe via Italy. Italy is having trouble managing after a massive increase this year in the already large flow of migrants who attempt the crossing, often at the hands of human smugglers.

At the end of last month, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said almost 40,000 migrants landed on Italy's shores in the first five months of this year - almost as many as the total for all of last year. The government has come under fire over the Mare Nostrum Operation, which some opposition parties say is encouraging human traffickers who know that migrants will be rescued by Italian forces. 

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