Cagliari (Italy), March 25 (IANS/AKI) Police in Italy's southern Sardinia on Wednesday intercepted 13 boat migrants who claimed to have arrived from Algeria aboard a small wooden boat with an outboard motor.
The 13 migrants, all male and apparently in good health, landed in a cove near Cape Teulada and were taken to a reception and identification centre in the province of Cagliari, police said.
The migrants were detained by paramilitary Carabinieri police stationed at a nearby military base.
Figures issued in mid-March from the European Union border and coastguard agency Frontex showed almost a 100 per cent drop in migrant crossings to Italy from North Africa in the first two month of this year.
A total of 260 migrants were detected on the Central Mediterranean route from North Africa to Italy in January and February: 95 per cent fewer in the same period of last year, according to Frontex.
The number of migrants detected on the Central Mediterranean route in February was 60 - the lowest monthly figure in nine years, Frontex said.
The Frontex data was welcomed by Italy's hardline Interior Minister and Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini who has vowed there will be "zero" migrants landing and wants to deport half a million illegal immigrants.
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