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Spain takes in 629 migrants stuck in the Mediterranean

The UNHCR says migrants aboard the rescue ship Aquarius are in distress, running out of provision and urgently in need of help.

FILE: Survivors rescued from the Mediterranean by the 'Aquarius', which is operated by the Medecins Sans Frontieres and SOS Mediterranee charities. Picture: unhcr.org

PRETORIA - Spain has agreed to take 629 migrants, including more than 100 children, drifting in the Mediterranean.

Italy’s new rightwing government has closed its ports to the migrants rescued by a German vessel in Libyan waters.

The UNHCR says migrants aboard the rescue ship Aquarius are in distress, running out of provision and urgently in need of help.

Italy’s closed its ports to the ship and said it should dock in Malta where Prime Minister Joseph Muscat insists international law determines Italy is responsible for them.

Mayors across southern Italy say they’re prepared to admit the migrants. But they need the cooperation of the Italian coastguard.

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez says the rescue ship can dock in Valencia on Monday afternoon.