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IMMIGRATION

835 more sub-Saharan immigrants picked up from 84 boats off Tarifa coast

Huge influx by sea continues as over 700 migrants attempt to jump Melilla border fence

Red Cross volunteers move a baby who reached Tarifa by boat on Monday.

The huge influx of immigrants across the Mediterranean to the shores of Tarifa, in Cádiz province, continued on Tuesday as Spanish rescue services located at least 84 more small migrant boats. A total of 835 further people, among them 98 women and 30 children, were rescued according to the Spanish coastguard.

The immigrants were taken to Tarifa’s municipal sports center, which the local government has given over to allow them to receive treatment from Red Cross volunteers more quickly and because the local CETI temporary immigrant holding center is already at full capacity. Almost 500 sub-Saharans have been taken to the center in the last 72 hours.

Only one of the sub-Saharan migrants had to be treated in the port as they were suffering from severe hypothermia and had a severe wound on their shoulder, Red Cross sources said.

Good weather has led to a rise in the number of immigrants trying to reach Spain illegally across the Mediterranean in small inflatable boats. On Monday 299 people were rescued from 31 boats as they tried to cross the Strait of Gibraltar and Tuesday’s final total could be very high, warned one Red Cross spokesman.

With Tuesday’s new arrivals, around 1,000 immigrants have been rescued trying to cross the Strait of Gibraltar so far this year. At the end of July the total was 328 migrants. The figures surpass those of 2013 when 348 people were rescued trying to cross the Strait in August. By the end of July that year, 548 sub-Saharans had been picked up.

Meanwhile, around 700 sub-Saharan immigrants attempted to cross the border fence from Morocco into the Spanish north African exclave of Melilla on Tuesday morning. Around 20 were successful and made their way to the local CETI chanting “Bosa, Bosa,” the victory cry often used by migrants who manage to make it on to Spanish soil.

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