Italian satellites have detected four ships carrying illegal immigrants in the Mediterranean, one of which is positioned off the south Balearic coast. Italian police and coast guards monitoring the ships' movements said yesterday that the ship off the Balearics could change direction and head for Italy, although the Spanish authorities have been informed of the ship load of immigrants' close proximity to the Balearics and mainland Spain. Gibraltar is also on alert for a fifth ship. Satellite images have shown that each of the ships is carrying large numbers of illegal immigrants. The ship off the Balearics has about 500 people on board, many believed to be Kurds. On Monday a ship carrying 1000 Kurds was intercepted off Sicily and escorted by the Italian navy into port.

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