In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, migrants stand on the deck of the Open Arms boat, after being rescued off the coast of Libya in the early hours of the nigh of Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018. Rescuers from the Spanish non -profit Open Arms saved 87 migrants off the coast of Libya in a dramatic nighttime operation. The group included eight minors. (AP Photo/Valerio Nicolosi)

The Latest: Malta rescues 114 migrants from sinking dinghy

August 13, 2018 - 12:06 pm

MILAN (AP) — The Latest on the influx of migrants into Europe (all times local):

6:00 p.m.

Malta's armed forces say that a patrol boat has rescued 114 migrants aboard a rubber dinghy taking on water 53 nautical miles south of the Mediterranean island nation.

The Maltese Navy said all of the migrants, who were sighted during a regular patrol, were brought to Malta — the first to arrive there since late June.

Separately, the Maltese government said that it has no legal obligation to offer safe harbor to another group of 141 migrants picked up at sea Friday by the Aquarius rescue ship, since it was neither the coordinating nor the competent authority for the rescue.

The EU said it is in touch with member states to identify a port. Italy has refused, saying Britain should take in the migrants since the Aquarius flies the flag of the British territory Gibraltar.

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3:05 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says talks with Greece on its taking back migrants who previously sought asylum there are well-advanced but similar negotiations with Italy have some way to go.

Germany last week reached an agreement with Spain for Madrid to take back asylum-seekers who previously applied there and then show up at the German-Austrian border. That was a largely symbolic first step toward implementing a deal to defuse a domestic political dispute; Greece and Italy have been bigger sources of migration to Germany.

In June, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer threatened to turn back previously registered migrants unilaterally at the border. Merkel insisted on striking agreements with other countries.

Merkel said Monday she's prepared to speak with the Greek and Italian leaders if needed but "we haven't yet reached that point."

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1:20 p.m.

A few dozen people have gathered in the northwestern Bosnian town of Bihac to protest the government's response to an unprecedented influx of migrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Protesters who assembled Monday in a square in the center of Bihac accused the state government of intentionally sending migrants to their town without identifying and registering them or providing them with proper accommodation. They reject the claim that Bihac is an obvious gathering place chosen by migrants because of its proximity to the border with Croatia, a member of the European Union.

Thousands of migrants are staying in squalid, makeshift camps in Bihac and the surrounding towns, relying on limited support of the local Red Cross and a couple of international aid agencies.

Over 9,300 migrants have entered Bosnia so far this year.

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12:20 p.m.

Italy's transport minister says Britain should take in 141 migrants picked up by a rescue ship that sails under the flag of the British territory of Gibraltar.

Italy continues to refuse port to ships run by humanitarian groups, and Danilo Toninelli said Monday on Twitter that Britain should take responsibility for the migrants aboard the Aquarius, operated by French humanitarian groups.

Toninelli said the rescue was coordinated by the Libyan coast guard and that the ship was now in Maltese waters.

The French aid groups SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders have called on European nations to identify a close port of safety so the 141 migrants picked up in two rescues Friday could disembark. Most of the migrants are from Somalia and Eritrea and include 67 unaccompanied minors.

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