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Morocco foils illegal immigration bid by 22 Africans

Monday, 18 May 2015

Moroccan authorities said Tuesday that they had foiled a fresh bid at illegal immigration by 22 sub-Saharan Africans.

"Coast guard personnel thwarted an illegal immigration attempt by 22 sub-Saharan Africans off the country's Mediterranean coast between the cities of Tangier and Fnideq," local authorities in Tangier were quoted as saying by the country's official press agency.

"A group of immigrants tried to cross the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain in three inflatable rafts, but Coast Guard personnel managed to foil their attempt without harming anyone," the agency reported.

Earlier Tuesday, ten sub-Saharan African immigrants managed to leave Morocco from the coast of western Tangier, a security official told Anadolu Agency.

It remains unclear whether the latter group – which Moroccan and Spanish authorities are currently searching for – are part of the 22 illegal immigrants arrested by the Coast Guard.

Spanish and Moroccan authorities routinely report failed attempts at illegal immigration by citizens of African countries hoping to reach the Spanish coast or Ceuta and Melilla, Spain's two exclaves in North Africa.

In recent years, thousands of illegal immigrants have flocked to Morocco in hopes of continuing on to Europe, especially Spain.

Last October, the Spanish government announced that some 16,000 illegal African migrants had tried to infiltrate Melilla since the beginning of 2014.

Over the same period, some 3,600 migrants succeeded in illegally entering the exclave, according to Spanish government figures.

Source : AA

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