A large number of would-be migrants who arrived in Malta two weeks ago were deported to Egypt, their home country, in two groups yesterday and last Saturday. None claimed refugee status upon their arrival in Malta.
They had been part of a group of 185 who were rescued from a boat by the Armed Forces of Malta on the night of February 5, 19 nautical miles to the southwest of the island. Among them were four women, one of whom was pregnant, and 16 minors. Besides Egyptians on the boat there were also a number of Moroccans.
They were believed to have left Libya on a 50-foot fishing boat and had already passed by Malta, but the boat started taking in water and drifting in the island's search and rescue region.