Over 9,200 boat migrants have reached Italy this year after 64 Iraqis were rescued off the coast of the southern Puglia region overnight, including 19 children.

A Spanish navy vessel and several merchant ships rescued over 900 migrants aboard six boats in the Mediterranean on Sunday, Italian coastguard said.

A total 5,932 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea this year through February 2, about 80 percent arriving in Italy and the rest in Greece, according to figures issued on Friday by the International Organisation for Migration.

The IOM figures exclude the 900 people rescued in the Mediterranean on Sunday, as well as 1,300 people saved on Friday and 1,340 migrants picked up in the Strait of Sicily on February 1.

European Union leaders meeting in Malta on Friday agreed to a plan aimed at stemming the influx of migrants to Italy from Libya, including 200 million euros to help strengthen its coastguard.

First Published | 7 February 2017 6:29 AM
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