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Moroccan navy rescues 141 migrants off Atlantic coast

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Rabat: The Moroccan navy rescued 141 migrants from a flimsy boat off the Atlantic coast on Sunday, the official news agency MAP reported, citing a statement from the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces.

All the migrants, including three women and two minors, were from sub-Saharan African countries. They were rescued in an operation that lasted 15 hours due to unfavorable weather conditions, according to the statement.

The migrants, who departed from the Mauritanian coast on February 10, intended to reach the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa, it added. After their boat was stranded about 274 km off the port of Dakhla, the migrants sent a distress signal that was intercepted by Moroccan authorities.

The migrants were handed over to the Royal Gendarmerie for the usual administrative procedures after receiving necessary care, the statement read.

According to the official statistics, the Moroccan army arrested about 87,000 undocumented migrants in 2023, most of whom were from sub-Saharan Africa.

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