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U.N.: Spike in Eritreans Fleeing into Ethiopia

Over 200 Eritrean refugees are crossing the heavily fortified and dangerous border into arch-foe Ethiopia daily, the United Nations said in a report noting a "spike" in those fleeing.

Tens of thousands have now run away from the autocratic Horn of Africa country, escaping open-ended conscription and the iron-grip rule of President Issaias Afeworki, with many continuing northwards to brave the often harrowing journey towards Europe.

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Italy Rescues nearly 100,000 Migrants at Sea this Year

The Italian navy said Monday it had rescued more than 2,000 migrants over the weekend from boats in the Mediterranean, bringing the number it has brought ashore this year to nearly 100,000.

It said the latest arrivals included 94 migrants crammed into a 30-meter (98-foot) long sailing boat intercepted off the coast of Calabria by the coast guard, which arrested three Turkish men on board on suspicion of human trafficking.

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Eritrean Leaders Targeted by Swedish Crimes against Humanity Law

A Swedish law firm Tuesday reported several top Eritrean leaders to the police for crimes against humanity, as a new law took effect enabling such crimes committed anywhere else in the world to be prosecuted in Sweden.

The report lists a series of alleged crimes including torture and kidnapping, and targets Eritrean President Issaias Afeworki and several of his ministers by name.

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African Immigrants in Israel on Mass Hunger Strike

Hundreds of illegal African immigrants began a hunger strike on Monday after Israeli police forcibly broke up a sit-in they were staging along the Egyptian border.

Around 1,000 Africans, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, had marched Friday to the border and set up a makeshift camp to protest against their "inhuman and unlimited" detention at Holot facility.

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U.N. Launches Probe of Rights Violations in Eritrea

The U.N.'s top human rights body launched an investigation on Friday into widespread abuses in Eritrea, including extrajudicial executions, torture and forced military conscription that can last decades.

"The human rights crisis in Eritrea has been forgotten for too long and the scale of violations is unparallelled, putting the country among the worst human rights situations worldwide," Somalia's representative to the U.N. in Geneva, Yusuf Mohamed Ismail Bari-Bari, told the council.

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Nearly 4,000 Eritreans Flee Each Month

Brutal government repression and a system of forcing all citizens into decades of military conscription is driving nearly 4,000 Eritreans to flee every month, a U.N. expert said on Thursday.

The numbers escaping the autocratic Horn of Africa country have increased from around 3,000 per month at the beginning of the year, Sheila Keetharuth told reporters in Geneva, describing the exodus as "shocking".

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Italian Navy Rescues 2,500 Migrants in 24 Hours

The Italian navy on Friday said it had rescued around 2,500 asylum-seekers from 17 boats in the past 24 hours as good weather conditions in the Mediterranean further boost the influx of asylum-seekers trying to reach Europe.

The navy said in a statement that the San Giorgio, an amphibious transport dock ship, had picked up the highest number -- 998 migrants including 214 women and 157 minors.

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Two Migrant Boats with 133 Children Rescued Off Italy

Italy's navy on Tuesday rescued two boats packed with more than 500 migrants including 133 minors in the latest influx that has brought in more than 36,000 people so far in 2014.

A navy helicopter spotted the boats -- one towing the other following an accident -- south of Sicily on Monday.

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Italian Navy Rescues 128 Boat Migrants

Italy's navy said Thursday it had rescued 128 migrants from Egypt, Eritrea, Sudan and Syria from a boat crossing the Mediterranean which got into difficulty off the coast of Sicily.

The migrants, including eight women and 13 minors, were spotted by a helicopter patrolling the seas off Italy on Wednesday as part of an operation launched after two October shipwrecks in which hundreds drowned.

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Italy Rescues 600 Syrian, Palestinian, Eritrean Boat Migrants

The Italian navy said on Tuesday it had rescued nearly 600 Syrian, Palestinian and Eritrean migrants crossing the Mediterranean in two overcrowded boats, including 62 minors.

The Italian frigate Grecale pulled 323 Syrians and Palestinians to safety late on Monday, after helping rescue another 273 migrants from Eritrea, who were taken aboard the gunboat Sfinge, the navy said in a statement.

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