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Algeria rescues 701 irregular migrants in one week

Migrants try to reach Spain are seen on a raft on 19 May 2021 [Diego Radames/Anadolu Agency]

Algerian coast guards have rescued 701 irregular migrants who were fleeing for Spain and Italy in a week, the country's Ministry of Defence announced yesterday.

The ministry said in a statement that the coast guard had thwarted "several migration attempts" and rescued "701 people who were on board traditional boats." It did not provide details about the nationalities of the rescued people.

The statement pointed out that the arrests had taken place between 13 and 19 October.

"The security forces have also arrested 118 irregular migrants holding African nationalities across several Algerian provinces," the ministry added.

Illegal immigration from Algeria to Europe esclated in recent months as Arab economies suffer as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Numerous irregular boats were reported to have sunk in the Mediterranean waters.

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Local media reported that costs for irregular migration rose to €4,000 ($4,656.06) per person.

The Spanish Ministry of the Interior recently said that since the start of 2021 until 30 September some 11,200 irregular migrants had arrived in Spain from Algeria.

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