September 26, 2018
The patrol was “forced” to open fire on a speedboat driven by a Spaniard who “refused to obey” orders in waters off the Moroccan locality. (File photo: AP)
RABAT (Xinhua) – Morocco’s navy opened fire on Tuesday on a boat carrying illegal migrants, wounding four, the Moroccan Interior Ministry said in a statement.
According to the statement, a naval unit operating in the Mediterranean was forced to fire on the boat after its Spanish captain refused to respond to several warnings.
The four people injured were taken to a provincial hospital, the statement said.
An investigation is underway to determine the exact circumstances of this event, it added.
Morocco’s news site Medias24.com cited official sources as saying that the boat was carrying dozens of migrants and all of them are Moroccan nationals.
This was the second time in a few days that Morocco’s navy intervened to stop a boat suspected of carrying migrants across the Mediterranean.
In recent months, Morocco has been witnessing a significant hike in illegal migration attempts.
Morocco thwarted at least 54,000 attempts to smuggle illegal migrants into Europe in the first eight months of 2018, compared to 39,000 attempts a year earlier, the Moroccan government said.
Published: September 25, 2018