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Aid group: Libyan gunmen threaten migrants, rescuers at sea

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BERLIN (AP) — A humanitarian aid group said gunmen on Libya-flagged speedboats threatened the crew of its rescue ship Alan Kurdi and the migrants it was rescuing Saturday, firing shots into the air and water.

Sea-Eye’s spokesman Gorden Isler told The Associated Press that the unprecedented incident on the Mediterranean Sea was a “total shock” for the rescue crew, but that they managed to bring all the roughly 90 migrants on board.

Isler said the Libyan boats arrived as the rescuers were handing out lifejackets to men and women on a white dinghy off the coast of Libya and began circling the ship, hampering the rescue operation. He said men on the speedboats fired “warning shots” and pointed mounted guns at the rescue crew and the migrants, some of whom had jumped into the water, before pulling away.

A pregnant woman rescued from the dinghy may have suffered a miscarriage, according to the Alan Kurdi’s crew, Isler said.

The ship is now heading north, toward Europe, he added.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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