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Hundreds of migrants arrive in Spain after Italy, Malta shun them

Migrants who were rescued by Spanish authorizes. Photo: Carlos Gil/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Migrants who were rescued by Spanish authorities. Photo: Carlos Gil/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

More than 600 migrants who were rescued from the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast arrived in Spain Sunday on three ships — a week after Italy’s new populist, right-wing government and Malta blocked the vessels from docking on their shores.

Why it matters: The refusal by both countries to aid the asylum seekers and Italy's insinuation that the group was an "army of fake refugees" have exacerbated Europe’s latest battle over immigration, triggering strong reactions from humanitarian aid groups and other European countries.