Moroccan navy opens fire upon a migrant boat trying to cross the Med
Moroccan navy opens fire upon a migrant boat trying to cross the Mediterranean wounding a 16-year-old boy after the captain made a ‘hostile move’
- The Moroccan navy fired warning shots at the migrant boat carrying 58 people
- Military sources said the migrant captain made a ‘hostile move’ at the navy
- Navy personnel fired directly at the captain, wounding a 16-year-old boy
- The boy was rushed to hospital in Tangier following last night’s incident
The Moroccan navy opened fire on a migrant boat carrying 58 people hitting a 16-year-old boy in the shoulder.
The navy intercepted the migrant boat off the town of Larache late last night according to local media reports.
A military source said the suspect captain failed to heed warning shots fired across his bow.
The Moroccan Navy opened fire on the motor launch carrying migrants across the Mediterranean lat night. A 16-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder
The migrants had bordered the boat from Larache beach which is about 70 miles from the Spanish coast
The source told AFP: ‘The motorboat that was carrying 58 migrants hidden under tarpaulin made a hostile move which forced the coastguard to fire at the captain.’
One of the Moroccan migrants suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder in the overnight operation to intercept the vessel off the town of Larache, on Morocco’s Atlantic coast.
The wounded migrant – aged 16, according to media reports – was transferred to a hospital in Tangier.
The others aboard the boat, including men and women of various ages, were brought ashore and handed over to the security forces, the source said.
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More than 43,000 migrants have made it to Spain since the start of the year, including around 38,000 by sea, according to the International Organization for Migration.
Last weekend alone, around 1,800 migrants trying to reach the European Union were rescued in the Mediterranean by the Moroccan navy and Spanish coastguard.
Since Tuesday, the Moroccan navy has rescued at least 452 migrants off the kingdom’s Atlantic coast after they ran into trouble, the official MAP news agency reported, citing a military source.
That figure includes 86 Moroccans saved Wednesday from a faltering vessel off the coast Moulay Bouselham, south of Tangier, according to the same source.
Wednesday’s shooting was the second of its kind in two weeks.
On September 25, a Moroccan naval patrol opened fire on a ‘go-fast’ speedboat ferrying migrants to Spain, killing a 22-year-old student and wounding three other people.
The authorities said that shooting was also in response to the boat’s ‘hostile manoeuvres’ and said the migrants had been concealed under tarpaulin.
A growing number of Moroccans are trying to leave their country illegally to reach Europe by sea or by crossing the fortified barriers between Morocco and the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa.
The kingdom is also a transit country for thousands of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa.
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