The Italian coast guard says it is in the process of trying to rescue as many as 3,000 migrants after receiving distress calls from a flotilla of four boats and 14 rubber dinghies off the coast of Libya.
The BBC reports:
"At least 1,200 people have already been rescued from five of the boats, in one of the largest such operations to date.
"The route from Libya to Italy is one of the busiest for migrants trying to enter Europe."
Two Italian ships and various other vessels were involved in the rescue, as well as a Norwegian ship that is part of a European patrol mission to monitor for migrants.
As Reuters notes:
"Nearly 110,000 migrants were tracked entering the EU in July by irregular means, official data showed on Tuesday, setting a record as the influx continues, notably of Syrians reaching Greek islands from Turkey.
"The European Union's border control agency Frontex said that it had detected some 107,500 people arriving outside regular channels in July, a sharp increase on the previous record set in June of over 70,000, and more than three times as many as it registered in the same month last year."