BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union nations approved plans Monday for a naval operation to go after the human trafficking networks that are sending thousands of migrants weekly across the Mediterranean toward Europe or to their deaths. NATO said it stood ready to help out if needed.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said she expects the operation to be fully launched next month after Britain, France, Italy and other nations pledge military equipment.
More than 10,000 migrants have been picked up alive from Mediterranean waters in recent weeks as they attempted to enter Europe from Libya. The International Organization for Migration estimates that nearly 1,830 migrants have died on the sea route this year compared to 207 in the same period last year.