Italy is seeking to have seven boats carrying roughly 1,000 migrants needing rescue off Libya taken back to North Africa, according to a Spanish aid group.

Proactiva Open Arms, which has rescued thousands of migrants in the Mediterranean, said the Italians want the Libyan coast guard to conduct the rescues and return the migrants.

Proactiva said in a tweet that Italian coast guard authorities who coordinate rescues sent out advisories to all ships in the area but told the aid group: ‘We don’t need your help.’

In a tweet on Sunday, hard-line interior minister Matteo Salvini said: ‘It’s right that the Libyan authorities intervene, as they’ve been doing for days, without having the NGOs interrupt them and disturb them.’

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