Boat full of migrants shocks sunbathers on Spanish beach

Aug 12, 2017, 00:25
Boat full of migrants shocks sunbathers on Spanish beach

Three times as many migrants have arrived so far in 2017 as the amount who had arrived in the same period past year.

The voyage from Libya across the Mediterranean Sea to Italy remains the most popular route - 95,000 migrants have set sail this year - yet numbers are down compared with 2016, while sea arrivals to Spain from Morocco have more than doubled.

A new clip from The Guardian, shows beachgoers in Southern Spain watching as a boat carrying African migrants reaches shore.

At least 6,000 migrants have taken the latter route this year, with many looking to avoid lawless Libya and cross a shorter stretch of sea traditionally used to smuggle drugs, according to the European Union's border agency Frontex.

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Many of those opting for the longer route are from west African countries including Senegal, Gambia, Guinea and Ivory Coast.

"We assume that some of the change is due to the fact that the route [to Spain] is considered a safe route up to the coast through Morocco", Joel Millman, a senior IOM spokesman, was quoted in a reports.

In Libya there "appears to be a very deliberate strategy to put people out there, in overloaded boats that begin to take on water nearly immediately and then it's a race to see how quickly the people on the boat can summon aid", he said.

Spain's Guardia Civil police force said that nine of around 30 migrants who arrived on the beach on Wednesday had been found, all of them minors in their teens.

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By the time authorities had arrived, the group had dispersed and left the beach.

Both the cities have the EU's only land borders with Africa and so are easy entry points for migrants wanting to get to Europe.

The Interior Ministry's office in Ceuta said the migrants also tried to scale the six-meter-tall (20-foot) barbed-wire fences around Ceuta after the early Thursday crossing attempt at the Tarajal post failed, but were again repelled by Moroccan and Spanish police.

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