Italy’s interior ministry says 101,480 boat migrants arrived in the country in 2014. Italy has rescued more than 70,000 migrants through its “Mare Nostrum” (Our Sea) mission of Mediterranean patrols which it began in October 2014. The operation patrols the waters between Africa and Sicily. Recent migrants have been refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war and Eritrea’s harsh military service. Italy’s interior minister says the country is “proud to be saving lives” of migrants and without its efforts the Mediterranean would have become a “lake of death”.