200 African mi­grants res­cued off Spain

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

Al­most 200 mi­grants from North and sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa were res­cued overnight as they tried to reach south­ern Spain in makeshift ves­sels, Span­ish coastal res­cue of­fi­cials said Sun­day.

“Mar­itime res­cue ser­vices picked up 188 peo­ple from seven craft,” a spokesman told AFP.

A Red Cross spokesman told AFP that 103 Al­ge­ri­ans, half of them mi­nors, were aboard five craft off the south­ern port of Alme­ria.

Two other ves­sels were crammed with 85 sub-Sa­ha­ran Africans. In this lat­ter group, one craft was in­ter­cepted off Spain’s Alb­o­ranis­land and the other off the An­dalu­sian coast, op­po­site the north­ern Moroccan port city of Al-Ho­ceima.

Four of the sub-Sa­ha­ran mi­grants were hos­pi­talised, two of them preg­nant women.

Ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Mi­gra­tion, 2,819 mi­grants crossed the nar­row strait to Spain from North Africa be­tween Jan­uary and

the

end of Septem­ber. The fig­ure for all of 2014 was 3,500, which was a 55-per­cent rise on 2013.

By com­par­i­son, hun­dreds of thou­sands have ar­rived on the shores of Greece and Italy.

Most of those who head for Spain leave from Morocco -- some also try­ing to gain di­rect en­try to Span­ish soil on the African side of the Mediter­ranean by reach­ing Spain’s en­claves of Ceuta and Melilla.

Mi­grants rest in­side a sports cen­ter af­ter they were res­cued by the sea res­cue ser­vice at the Strait of Gi­bral­tar near the coast of Tar­ifa, south­ern Spain in 2014

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