Italy will begin annual naval exercises this week near the coast of Libya, where a breakdown in order has allowed tens of thousands of migrants to try to reach Europe by boat and increased fears of attacks by Islamist militants.

The navy said in a statement that the exercises, known as Mare Aperto (Open Sea), would begin on Monday.

The exercises were suspended last year because of the search-and-rescue mission dubbed Mare Nostrum, which was set up after hundreds of migrants were drowned off the southern island of Lampedusa. Mare Nostrum has now ended and been replaced by a more limited European Union mission known as Triton. […]