A Boy Travels 230 Kilometers From Morocco to Spain Hanging Underneath Bus

Published June 28th, 2017 - 05:44 GMT
A rescue mission, including many Moroccans. (AFP)
A rescue mission, including many Moroccans. (AFP)

A Moroccan boy travelled at least 230 kilometres from his home town in North Africa to Spain while hanging underneath a bus, officials said on Monday.

Emergency services in the southern Spanish city of Seville tweeted a video of the boy being led away from a bus they said came from Tangier, some 143 miles away, wearing a dirtied white t-shirt.

They said he had been taken to hospital but was in good condition.

A police spokesman told AFP the boy appeared to be Moroccan, but was told the bus came from Tetouan, another Moroccan city still further away.

"The bus arrived in Seville, and when the driver was going to let the passengers out, he noted something strange," the spokesman said.

"He called the police and firefighters, and they found the boy who was holding onto the bottom of the bus," he added.

Migrants from Africa regularly risk their lives trying to get into Europe via Spain and thousands of attempts have ended unsuccessfully.

Many attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea in rickety boats or climb over the border fence that separates the Spanish territories of Ceuta and Melilla from northern Morocco.

Earlier this month, a car with five migrants hidden inside rammed its way through a border post between Morocco and Melilla, forcing officers to abandon their posts to avoid being run over.

Once inside Melilla, the Moroccan driver abandoned the car but was soon detained by police.

Inside the vehicle, they found five migrants - two in the boot, two others under a false bottom in the rear seats and another in the dashboard.

Meanwhile, traffickers on the North African coast take advantage of periods of good weather to set large numbers of migrants seeking passage to Europe out to sea, a notoriously dangerous crossing.

On Tuesday, Italy's coastguard said more than 8,000 migrants were rescued in waters off Libya during the past 48 hours in difficult weather conditions.

People were pulled to safety by coastguard vessels, military ships operating under the EU's border agency Frontex and aid boats run by privately funded organisations. Their efforts were coordinated by the coastguard.

The record for migrants rescued on a single day stands at 7,000, plucked from their unseaworthy vessels on August 29, 2016.

Over 73,300 migrants have landed in Italy since January, a 14 percent increase from the same period last year.

Just over 2,000 people have died attempting the crossing or are missing feared drowned since the beginning of 2017, according to the UN's refugee agency.


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