The Italian coastguard has rescued more than 2,000 migrants in a major operation off the Libyan coast, officials say.

During the rescue, search teams were threatened by Kalashnikov-wielding men who approached in a speedboat from Libya, Italian officials said.

Last week, at least 300 migrants perished in the Mediterranean Sea.

They were travelling in dinghies that ran into trouble during stormy weather after leaving the coast of Libya.

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