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Spain could overtake Greece in Migrants in flow

Spain could overtake Greece in Migrants in flow

The boat landed at the Playa de los Alemanes beach after crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, Spanish media reported.

While migrants often camp in crowded tent ghettos upon arrival, a great many disperse throughout Western Europe over a period of time.

As the boat pulls into shallow water, those on board leap out and run up the beach.

Families with young children were on the beach at the time and scenes of panic were said to have taken place with people not knowing what was going on and running back to their hotels as police arrived.

Spanish officials couldn't immediately be reached after office hours.

The figure marks a significant increase to previous year, when 13,246 migrants arrived in Spain in all of 2016, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

More than 11,000 migrants arrived in Spain in the first half of this year, compared to over 13,000 in all of 2016.

That is more than triple the number recorded at the same time past year, according to Joel Millman, a senior IOM spokesman, and already more than the total arrivals in 2016.

Some 6,800 people arrived in Spain between January and May this year, almost 90% fewer than in Italy.

"If so, that's a big change".

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He said many people taking the long route towards Europe were from west African countries like Senegal, Gambia, Guinea or Ivory Coast.

This is a different tactic to many migrants arriving from Libya, who are often packed onto leaky, overloaded boats, with the intention of summoning aid as quickly as possible.

"Whereas in Spain, the strategy is smaller craft hoping to come in undetected, and undoubtedly some do".

It comes as Spain announced it was closing its border on Ceuta after a policeman broke his thigh bone when more than 200 migrants stormed into Spain earlier this week.

Both cities are the EU's only land borders with Africa.

Similar footage shows migrants celebrating after crossing the border into Ceuta.

Once on Spanish soil in Ceuta, they are taken to migrant reception centres where they can apply for asylum.

A Spanish guard can be seen breaking his lower leg while attempting to kick one of the charging migrants. Pedestrian and passenger vehicles were still allowed.

Since eight of the top 10 African countries where migrants live before they look to Libya as a jumping off point are located in western Africa, heading north to Morocco and trying for Spain could be cheaper, easier and safer, he said.

Inigo Vila, in charge of emergencies for the Red Cross in Spain, said the organisation had reinforced the number of people working on the coast in southern Andalusia and in Ceuta to help migrants when they make landfall.


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