Rabat – Morocco’s coast guard rescued more than 140 African and Asian migrants in difficulty aboard makeshift boats early on Monday, a military source said.
The 147 migrants were from sub-Saharan Africa and from 10 Asian countries, said the source quoted by the official MAP news agency.
The source did not specify the location of the rescue operation but said the migrants received first aid at sea before being handed over to police “for the usual administrative procedures”.
Migrant departures from Morocco’s coast have increased, with most boats aiming to reach Spain’s Canary Islands, despite tighter controls.
More than 300 migrants were intercepted by the Moroccan coast guard between November 12 and 15, according to a military source.
The bodies of four Moroccans, including two women, trying to reach Europe were found in waters off Rabat on November 12, local authorities said.
Between January and October, a total of 32 713 migrants arrived in Spain by sea, an increase of 24% over the same period last year, according to Spanish interior ministry figures.
Up until the end of September, at least 1 025 deaths were recorded on the sea route to Spain, making this year the deadliest, according to the International Organization for Migration.
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