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Moroccan woman dies after navy fires at speedboat carrying migrants

Refugees are seen after being rescued from the Mediterranean Sea on 15 June 2017 [Marcus Drinkwater/Anadolu Agency]
Refugees are seen after being rescued from the Mediterranean Sea on 15 June 2017 [Marcus Drinkwater/Anadolu Agency]

A Moroccan woman died and three people were injured when the Moroccan navy opened fire on Tuesday at a speedboat with illegal migrants onboard, an interior ministry official said, Reuters reports.

The boat’s driver, a Spanish national, refused an order to stop before the navy fired, the official said.

The woman succumbed to her injuries in hospital, the official said, without giving further details.

The incident happened off Morocco’s territorial waters, Morocco’s official news agency MAP said.

UN: Migrants rejected by Italy were tortured and raped in Libya

Morocco became the main launchpad for Europe-bound migrants in July after Italy took a tougher line and EU aid to the Libyan coastguard stemmed flows from Libya.

More than 38,852 people have crossed into Spain up to mid-September, UN data shows, at least twice as many as the same period of 2017.

So far this year, Moroccan officials said they foiled more than 54,000 crossing attempts to Europe. Some 13 per cent of those would-be migrants are Moroccans while the rest come from other African countries.

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