Moroccan army intercepts over 1,100 migrants trying to reach Spain
The Moroccan army on Tuesday said that it has arrested more than 1,000 migrants from different coastal areas along its shores.
The migrants were arrested while attempting to head to the Canary Islands and the exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, which all belong to Spain.
According to a statement issued by the General Command of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces, border control units consisting of the army, gendarme units, navy and security forces were able to thwart illegal immigration operations since last Thursday.
They added that they arrested 1,110 people in various operations.
The statement said the migrants were nationals from different Arab countries, mainly Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Yemen.
The Moroccan navy also intercepted two boats with more than 150 migrants on board near Dakhla in Western Sahara that were on their way to the Canary Islands.
The Moroccan army said that some migrants were also heading to Ceuta and Melilla, two Spanish territories on the northern Moroccan coast.
The Canary Islands, located off the north-western coast of Africa, have seen a sharp increase in arrivals of boats carrying irregular migrants since the beginning of October.
The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, reports that more than 38,000 migrants from Africa have reached the islands this year so far.
Caminando Fronteras said at least 778 migrants died in the first six months of the 2023, while trying to make the dangerous crossing from West Africa across the Atlantic to the islands.