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EU extends anti-migrant smuggler mission, won’t deploy ships amid dispute with Italy

The EU has officially extended the mandate of a naval mission hunting migrant smugglers in the Mediterranean. However, the bloc, cannot deploy any ships amid a dispute with Italy’s anti-migrant government. Operation Sophia, which tackles smugglers, trains the Libyan coastguard and enforces a UN arms embargo on Libya, will be extended until September 30, EU headquarters said on Friday. European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said earlier this week that without naval assets, the operation can’t accomplish its tasks. Italy’s government refuses to allow its ships to disembark any migrants in Italian ports.