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190 migrants including Pakistanis rescued off Italian coast

GENEVA – Some 190 migrants including people from Pakistan were rescued from a boat off the coast of Libya by an NGO, Doctors Without Borders (MSF)

MSF shared the news on its Twitter handle, saying it performed successful rescue of 190 people on Friday night following an alert from a wooden boat. The migrants were rescued approximately 20 hours after they departed from Zawiya in Libya.

The migrants also included citizens of Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Syria and Palestine. All the migrants have been shifted to the southern Italian port of Bari on Sunday evening (March 26) by the MSF vessel Geo Barents.

After the vessel was docked, Toseef, a 25-year-old from Pakistan, sang a romantic song that he dedicated to his wife who is still in Pakistan with their 5-month-old son.

Another Pakistani named Yaser, 36, told MSF that he travelled to Libya in the hope of finding a job. Going to Europe was never part of his plans, he said.

“They gave us food once a day. If we asked for water, they told us to drink the water from the toilet. They beat us. They took my phone and called my family to ask for money. My family paid and I was able to escape.” explained Yaser.

“We left the shore at 1.30 am. We were 24 hours in the middle of the sea before we were rescued. I am better now, but I feel a great responsibility inside. My brother is sick and my family paid my ransom. I must be able to help him as soon as possible. I want a job and a dignified life. I want to be free. I do not want to be a prisoner anymore. I just want some peace and serenity.” he added.

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