Moroccan navy rescues 38 migrants at sea

2018-10-16 19:20
Morocco (iStock)

Morocco (iStock)

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The Moroccan navy on Monday rescued 38 migrants and recovered one body from a boat that ran into trouble off the kingdom's coast, the official MAP news agency reported.

The Moroccan nationals were found in "poor health" and had been aboard the vessel since October 8, a military source told the agency.

They were picked up by the navy when their vessel ran into difficulty west of Tangier, a port city on the country's northern coast, according to the source.

More than 43,000 migrants have made it north to Spain since the start of the year, including around 38,000 by sea, according to the International Organization for Migration.

An increasing number of Moroccans are attempting to reach Europe, either by taking the perilous sea route or via the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, which border Morocco.

The North African country is also a transit country for thousands of sub-Saharan African migrants.

The Moroccan navy, which occasionally provides figures on its rescue operations in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, said in just two days last week it saved 450 migrants.

In two recent operations the navy opened fire on boats showing "suspicious behaviour", killing a 22-year-old student and wounding three other people on September 25.

In the second incident on October 10, a 16-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder.

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