Italy's UN mission says 300 migrants rescued in Mediterranean sea, off Italian coast

Italy's U.N. mission says 300 migrants have been rescued in the Mediterranean sea.

In a tweet sent Tuesday, the mission said the migrants had just been rescued by coast guard, 80 miles (130 kilometers) from Italian shores.

This weekend saw a dramatic increase in rescues as smugglers in Libya took advantage of calm seas and warm weather to send thousands of would-be refugees out into the Mediterranean in overloaded rubber boats and fishing vessels.

The coast guard reported that nearly 7,000 people were rescued in the three days ending Sunday.