News24

Illegal immigrants land on Spanish island

2012-09-02 20:53

Madrid - Officials say some 70 illegal immigrants have reached a tiny, normally uninhabited Spanish island off the northern coast of Africa.

The rocky outcrop known as Isla de Tierra - part of the Alhucemas Islands archipelago - measures 1.7ha and is just 30m off the Mediterranean coast of Morocco at low tide.

The migrants swam or waded across early on Sunday, according to the regional office of the Interior Ministry located on the Spanish enclave of Melilla. Three minors and 17 women were part of the group. Another 19 migrants reached the archipelago on Wednesday.

Every year migrants from Africa try dangerous crossings to reach Spanish territory illegally in hope of gaining work and a better life.

Authorities suspect people smugglers were involved with the latest group.