199 Syrian refugees rescued from boat near Sicily

July 23, 2013 at 7:58 AM

SIRACUSA, Italy, July 23 (UPI) -- Italian authorities Tuesday rescued 199 Syrian refugees from a boat off the coast of Siracusa, Sicily, officials said.

The passengers aboard the 49-foot wooden boat included 19 women and 17 children, ANSA reported.

The passengers said they were fleeing war-torn Syria and were in good health.

The refugees were accompanied to shore by authorities where the identification process began, ANSA reported.

Police detained two Syrians and three Egyptians accused of trafficking the migrants.

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