More Mediterranean migrants rescued

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Almost 200 people were rescued attempting to make the dangerous crossing from North Africa to Spain the coastguard said.

The rescues come amid a debate in Spain over the role of charity boats in assisting government efforts after a Spanish non-governmental organisation ship was at the centre of a stand-off with European states last month.

In the Strait of Gibraltar, 73 people were rescued from three boats, among them 10 minors, Spanish rescue services said. Another 110 people were rescued from five boats in the Alboran Sea, the majority going to Malaga.

Arrivals to Spain so far this year were a little over 18 000, Interior Ministry data shows, a 39% reduction on last year.



United Nations data show irregular sea arrivals from the Middle East and North Africa to European Union states dropped from over a million in 2015 to 141 500 people last year while nearly 15 000 are estimated dead or missing during the voyage.