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Spain Rescues More Than 100 Migrants at Sea

Spain Rescues More Than 100 Migrants at Sea

Tuesday, 11 February, 2020 - 10:00
Migrants arrive aboard a Spanish maritime rescue boat after being rescued at sea off the Canary Islands coast, at the port of Arguineguin on the island of Gran Canaria, Spain, December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Borja Suarez
Asharq Al-Awsat

Spain has rescued 119 migrants from the sea and was looking for 67 others still missing from a boat that was trying to reach European shores, maritime authorities said.

A spokesman with Spain’s Maritime Rescue agency said the search for the missing rubber boat in the stretch of Mediterranean Sea separating Spain from Morocco had been suspended for the night and was to resume Tuesday.

The dinghy was believed to be in Morocco’s rescue area, according to the official who was not authorized to be named in media reports.

Refugees fleeing violence and migrants fleeing poverty look for a new life in Europe by setting off on dangerous trips by sea from African coasts.

Spain became the main entry point into Europe for migrants in 2018 but saw the number of arrivals halved last year to 26,168.

According to the official, two other rubber boats had been found in the area known as the Alborán Sea with 60 and 59 migrants from Africa, and that all of them would be disembarked in Spain’s southeastern city of Málaga.

The migrants, including 26 women and five children, were in good health, the spokesman said, the Associated Press reported.

Morocco received 140 million euros ($155 million) in European Union funds in 2019 to crack down on illegal migrant crossings.

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