Italian tugboats rescued 825 illegal immigrants, most of them Kurds, from a Turkish ship that ran aground off the southern coast here Saturday in one of the largest-ever efforts to smuggle people into Italy.
By midafternoon, all the passengers had been brought ashore, the Italian news agency ANSA reported from Soverato, a Calabrian coastal town.
Two men and a woman were hospitalized for dehydration after the six-day voyage in which passengers said they were given only bread and cheese to eat. In all, 165 of the passengers were women or children, authorities reported.
Now that Italy has joined a group of European nations that have eliminated border checks, the problem could spill over into other countries.