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Morocco’s navy intercepts more than 350 illegal migrants off coast

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Morocco's navy intercepted more than 350 illegal migrants, including four children, in waters off its coast, a military official said on Tuesday.

The 359 people rescued between Saturday and Monday had been “aboard makeshift boats, kayaks or swimming” in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, the unnamed official said, quoted by MAP news agency.

Mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, the migrants, who also included 10 women, received first aid aboard navy vessels before being transported to the nearest Moroccan ports, according to the same source.

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On Monday, the Moroccan authorities said the bodies of eight migrants were recovered off the southern shores of the North African kingdom.

Morocco is a key transit point on routes taken by migrants seeking better lives in Europe.

The Caminando Fronteras charity says almost 1,000 migrants died or were reported missing at sea in the first half of the year as they tried to reach Spain.

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