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Migrants Spain rescues more than 200 Africans from sea

The first rescues occurred in the early hours, the spokesman said, with dozens rescued south of Gibraltar from three boats.

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Spain has now rescued more than 600 people from the Mediterranean in less than a week play

Spain has now rescued more than 600 people from the Mediterranean in less than a week

(AFP)

Spanish coastguards rescued more than 200 migrants on Saturday as they attempted to make the perilous sea crossing from north Africa to Europe.

A spokesman for Spain's state maritime rescue service told AFP that 224 people had been rescued from five vessels in the Strait of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea, which separate Spain from Morocco.

The first rescues occurred in the early hours, the spokesman said, with dozens rescued south of Gibraltar from three boats.

Another 72 were rescued later after being spotted by a plane belonging to Europe's border agency, Frontex.

Spain's sea rescue service said Thursday that it had saved more than 400 migrants this week alone.

The relatively short sea crossing from Morocco to Spain is a popular route taken by migrants from sub-Saharan and north Africa in their quest to reach Europe.

According to the International Organisation for Migration, 3,314 people attempted this crossing between January 1 and April 30 this year.

They recorded 59 deaths over the same period in this part of the Mediterranean.

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