At least 10 migrants have died in the Mediterranean Sea trying to reach Europe, while more than 6,500 people were rescued after their boats capsized.
The rescue operation occurred on 2 and 3 May and is 2015's biggest operation so far, Italy's coast guard said. It added at least 16 ships were involved in the mission.
The operation took place two weeks after some 900 migrants drowned off Libyan coasts shedding light, once again, on the problem of illegal migration and people smuggling in the Mediterranean.
Seven bodies were found on two rubber boats, while another three corpses were plucked from the sea. The coast guard told Reuters the migrants had jumped in the sea after seeing a merchant boat approaching. The rescued migrants were brought to Sicily's Lampedusa island and the town of Trapani.
It is estimated that some 1,800 people have drowned in the Mediterranean so far in 2015. Following the migrant tragedy in April, the EU vowed to step up efforts and resume operations to prevent further drownings and capture people smugglers. European leaders also agreed to triple the funding for EU sea patrol mission Triton.
Meanwhile, a separate report by IBTimes UK shed light on possible links between mafia and human smuggling and trafficking. According to NGOs and mafia experts, global mafia arranges human smuggling worldwide.
Another IBTimes UK report found migrants who mange to reach the Italian coasts are allegedly exploited and abused by their keepers at Sicily's Cara Mineo, Europe's largest migrant holding camp.