CORRECTED: Spain rescues more than 100 migrants from sea
Spanish rescue services said they had picked up more than 100 African migrants from boats in the Atlantic and Mediterranean sea on Saturday, incidents that have become increasingly rare.
Off the Canary island of Tenerife 26 migrants were rescued, some of them apparently after two weeks at sea, the Red Cross told AFP.
"Various circumstances, like the situation in the Sahel region and Arab countries as well as the fight against (clandestine) immigration to Spain across the Atlantic, have changed the flow of refugees these past months and years," the police chief of Spain's North African enclave Melilla, Abdelmalik El Barkani, said earlier this year.
On Saturday, 47 migrants travelling on three boats were also rescued from the Mediterranean and taken to the town of Almeria in southern Spain. Thirty-nine others were transferred to Ceuta, also on the north African coast.
In a week Spanish rescuers have assisted several hundred migrants, after 3,804 would-be immigrants reached the Spanish coast last year, according to interior ministry figures.
The Canary islands, off the northwest coast of Africa, counted 31,678 arrivals of clandestine migrants in 2006, the highest number ever.
© 2013 AFP