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The Italian coast guard says the bodies of eight migrants have been recovered and 84 other migrants have been rescued from a floundering smugglers' dinghy off the Libyan coast.

It said an aircraft on patrol for a European mission against migrant smuggling in the Mediterranean spotted the rubber boat that was in difficulty Saturday morning. Italian navy and coast guard vessels were involved in the rescue.

The Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, whose boat wasn't involved in the rescue, says many migrants were in the water for hours before being saved and that as many as dozens might still be missing.

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