Dutch frigate Zr Ms Van Amstel rescued 193 asylum seekers from the Mediterranean sea on Tuesday, including 40 women and 16 children, news agency ANP says on Wednesday.
The group was travelling from Egypt and had been in their boat for seven days, the ministry said. They were thought to be heading for Sicily.
The Dutch navy intervened after receiving a distress signal. The asylum seekers’ boat threatened to sink and panic had broken out, the defence ministry spokesman said in a statement.
The frigate, which dropped the refugees off at an Italian port, has been part of EU border operation Triton in the Mediterranean since the beginning of this month.
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