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Morocco Navy Picks Up 242 Migrants in Sea

Morocco Navy Picks Up 242 Migrants in Sea

Saturday, 27 July, 2019 - 05:45
Migrants disembark from a dinghy at "Del Canuelo" beach after they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar sailing from the coast of Morocco. Reuters file photo

The Moroccan navy has picked up 242 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa who were trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Spain in flimsy boats, the official MAP press agency reported late Friday.

Agence France Presse quoted MAP as saying that the migrants, including 50 women and 12 children, were rescued from several inflatable boats which had gotten into difficulty.

"The migrants, some of whom were unwell, were taken safely to port," the Moroccan news agency said.

So far this year, more than 15,000 such migrants have made it to Spain, 12,000 by the sea route, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates.

More than 200 have died in the attempt.

Aiming to halt the migrant influx, the European Union last year gave Morocco 140 million euros to support efforts to curb human traffickers.

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