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Over 600 migrants rescued off Spain in a day
September 05, 2018
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MADRID: More than 600 migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean as they attempted to make the perilous crossing to Spain, the coastguard said.

 While the overall number of migrants reaching Europe by sea is down from a peak in 2015, Spain has seen a steady increase in arrivals this year and has overtaken Italy as the preferred destination for people desperate to reach the continent.

 On Monday, 626 people from sub-Saharan and north Africa were rescued from 16 boats in the Strait of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea, the two principal sea crossings to Spain, a spokesman for the Spanish coastguard told reporters.

 He said rescue workers were also on their way to save another boat in distress, but he did not know how many migrants were on board.

 More than 28,500 people have arrived in Spain by sea so far this year, with 313 dying in the attempt, according to the International Organisation for Migration -- more than during all of last year.

Authorities in northern Greece have rescued 60 Iraqi migrants, including 27 children, found walking along a major highway after a smuggling truck dumped them far from their destination.

Police said the migrants, who had illegally entered Greece through the land border with Turkey, were found on Tuesday 15 kilometers (9 miles) west of Thessaloniki.

They had been brought by truck from the border, having paid about $2,000 each to a smuggling gang. Authorities believe the driver abandoned them to avoid police roadblocks near Thessaloniki.

Agencies
 

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