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EU To Hold Emergency Migrant Summit


EU leaders are due to hold an emergency summit on April 23 to discuss ways to stem the flow of refugees trying to reach Europe across the Mediterranean.

A draft statement for the Brussels meeting says leaders will commit to "undertake systematic efforts to identify, capture, and destroy vessels before they are used by traffickers."

EU leaders are also expected to pledge additional funding for sea patrols as well as offering assets such as boats.

The talks in Brussels were convened after more than 800 people drowned off Libya's coast on April 19, bringing the number of deaths this year to 1,750.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has called for direct action against Libya-based smugglers.

Rome says 90 percent of the migrant boats ending up on its shores set off from Libya.

Based on reporting by AFP and BBC
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