Moroccan navy rescues 438 Spain-bound immigrants in Mediterranean, Atlantic

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In this photo taken on Aug. 2, 2021 a boat overcrowded with migrants is waiting to be rescued by Sea Watch 3 in the Mediterranean sea. Italy on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, pressed fellow EU nations to open their ports to migrants rescued by European humanitarian ships as political tensions grow in the Italian government over sharply rising number of arrivals this summer on the country's southern shores. (Sea-Watch.org via AP)

The Moroccan navy rescued 438 Spain-bound immigrants in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic over the past four days, official RIM radio reported on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: A boat overcrowded with migrants in the Mediterranean sea. /AP

Most of the rescued immigrants were sub-Saharan people, in addition to three Bangladeshi nationals and a Turkish one, the report added quoting a military source.

They were experiencing difficulties aboard several makeshift boats sailing in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, it added.

The immigrants received the necessary first aid from the navy units, before being brought back to the nearest Moroccan ports and handed over to the Royal Gendarmerie.

Morocco has become a transit country for African and Asian migrants seeking to reach Europe for better living conditions, as the shortest distance from Morocco’s Mediterranean coasts to Spain is only 14 km via the Strait of Gibraltar.

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