Morocco intercepts 177 irregular migrants off coast

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Civil guards (Guardia Civil) pull the corpse of a would-be immigrant out of the water near the site of a shipwreck on the Teguise coast, on the Spanish canary island of Lanzarote, on February 16, 2009. Hopes faded today that any survivors would be found from a boat carrying 28 mostly North African migrants that capsized off Spain's Canary Islands, police said. Four people, including an eight-year-old girl, are known to have drowned when the vessel overturned on February 15 just offshore from Arrecife, the main city on Lanzarote island. AFP PHOTO/DESIREE MARTIN (Photo credit should read DESIREE MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images)
Civil guards (Guardia Civil) pull the corpse of a would-be immigrant out of the water near the site of a shipwreck on the Teguise coast, on the Spanish canary island of Lanzarote, on February 16, 2009. (DESIREE MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images)

The coast guards of Morocco’s Royal Navy have intercepted 177 irregular migrants in the South Atlantic, the official Moroccan news agency MAP reported Thursday.

The migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, included 52 women and 20 children, the report cited a military source as saying.

They were facing difficulties on board makeshift inflatable boats when they were intercepted on Wednesday, the source said.

All the migrants, who were trying to reach the Spanish archipelago of Canary Islands, received the necessary first aid, the source added.

Morocco has long been a transit country for African migrants seeking to reach Europe.

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