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More than 1,100 asylum seekers rescued off Italian coast

From Marilia Brocchetto, CNN
updated 6:48 AM EST, Thu February 6, 2014
A ceremony commemorates the migrants who drowned off the island of Lampedusa in Agrigento on October 21, 2013.
A ceremony commemorates the migrants who drowned off the island of Lampedusa in Agrigento on October 21, 2013.

(CNN) -- More than 1,100 asylum seekers have been rescued off the coast of Italy, the nation's navy said in a statement.

2013: Migrants rescued off Italian coast

Patrol choppers saw the overcrowded rafts, and four navy vessels rescued those on board Wednesday.

Officials believe the asylum seekers were from sub-Saharan Africa. About 50 children were on board.

All of the passengers are en route to the port of Augusta, were they are expected to arrive Friday.

READ: Italian navy rescues 233 migrants from Mediterranean boat

PHOTOS: Pope Francis holds mass on Lampedusa

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