ROME: Italy sent back 68 Egyptians to their country of origin Wednesday after they were intercepted as part of a group of 131 illegal migrants off Sicily earlier this week, the interior ministry said.
The 68 were put on a flight from Catania to Cairo.
Forty-four minors who were also part of the group detained overnight Monday after arriving on a fishing boat were accommodated by special agencies "in compliance with the law", the ministry added.
The boat crew tried to flee the scene but coast guards stopped the 30-meter vessel and took it to Catania, Sicily’s second city.
The ministry said that Wednesday’s repatriation, only a day after the 131 migrants were detained, "is a direct consequence of the excellent cooperation with Egyptian authorities."