Spanish coastguard rescues migrants


More than 200 migrants were rescued by the Spanish coastguard as they attempted to cross from Africa to Spain, rescue services said.

The rescue when Spain is preparing for the arrival on a Spanish warship of 15 migrants from an Italian port following a stand-off between Italian authorities and a Spanish-registered private rescue vessel.

On Thursday, the coastguard said migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa in three rafts in the Alboran Sea, between Morocco and Spain.

They were taken to Almeria and Malaga.

Some eighteen thousand migrants arrived in Spain so far this year, Interior Ministry data shows. This is a 39% decrease from the same period last year.

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