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Italian Coastguard ship with 67 migrants to dock at Italian port

Danilo Toninelli

Rome, July 11 (UITV/IANS) - Italian Coastguard's Diciotto vessel carrying 67 rescued migrants will dock at an Italian port on Wednesday, Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli said.

The Interior Ministry said no Italian port had yet been indicated for the Diciotti to dock at.

The migrants will be disembarked at an Italian port and questioned, Transport Ministry sources said earlier.

The migrants, who include 12 Sudanese, 23 Pakistanis, seven Palestinians, 10 Libyans, four Algerians, four Moroccans, two Egyptians, a Bangladeshi, a Ghanaian, a Chadian, a Nepalese and a Yemeni, were transferred to the Diociotto after they were rescued off Libya by an Italian commercial ship, the Vos Thalassa, on Monday.

The Vos Thalassa responded to a distress call from a boat adrift off the Libyan coast and picked up the migrants after arriving on the scene before the Libyan Coastguard. However, it was not allowed to dock in Italy.

Toninelli earlier tweeted that there would be investigations to punish "troublemakers" aboard the Vos Thalassa. Two of the migrants, a Ghanaian and a Sudanese national, allegedly made death threats to the ship's crew members.

It was not clear if the alleged death threats were made before or after Italy's hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini refused to allow the Vos Thalassa to dock at an Italian port.

It was the first time an Italian rescue ship was turned away from an Italian port due to the government's hardline policy and represented a new development in the fiery debate around migration.