Migrants make landfall on Spanish beach


More than 30 illegal migrants, pursued by a police boat, landed their packed dinghy on a Spanish beach and then scattered into surrounding sand dunes and woodland.

Video footage showed the migrants, mostly young men, throwing life-jackets overboard as they approached shore and jumping onto the beach as sunbathers looked on.

The migrants landed on a beach near Tarifa after crossing the Strait of Gibraltar – the narrow body of water separating Morocco from mainland Europe that has become a key route for migrants.

Overall, numbers of migrants reaching Europe are down from the peak in 2015 – 55,000 migrants reached the continent’s shores this year, fewer than half the amount the same time last year, according to the UN migration agency.

Spain recently overtook Italy as the preferred destination and 17,000 migrants arrived so far this year – twice the number at the same point in 2017, according to interior ministry figures.

Arrivals by sea have risen in recent weeks thanks to calm seas.

More than 600 African migrants forced their way through the fortified border fence separating the Spanish North African enclave Ceuta from Morocco last week, using circular saws, shears and machetes to cut through the wire.