Saudi stops 122 African migrants at sea

Illegal migrants sit on the roof of a police bus with their belongings in this file image (File Photo: AFP)

Saudi Arabia has intercepted 122 illegal migrants trying to reach the kingdom from Africa by sea, official media said on Monday.

In the past two days border guards disrupted four attempts by people trying to enter the kingdom from the Red Sea, the Saudi Press Agency said.

Patrol boats intercepted three wooden boats with the 122 "infiltrators" including women and children, it quoted border guards spokesman Colonel Sahir al-Harbi as saying.

Most of them, 109, were Sudanese, whose impoverished homeland lies on the other side of the Red Sea from oil-rich Saudi Arabia. There were also 11 Nigerians, one Ethiopian and one Chadian. Such reports are rare in official Saudi media.

According to the United Nations, since 2014 more than 10,000 people have died crossing the Mediterranean from Africa to Europe, which is experiencing its worst migrant crisis since World War II.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47