Three Moroccan migrants, including a woman, have died drowned and 40 others were rescued after the sinking of a boat off Larache (north), said Monday the Moroccan authorities.

This sinking comes days after the discovery of the bodies of eight sub-Saharan migrants on beaches near Tangier, drowned while trying to illegally reach Spain by crossing the Mediterranean Sea by boat, according to local press.

People rescued off Larache were transferred to the city hospital and an investigation was opened to “determine the circumstances of organizing this illegal immigration operation,” according to a statement from local authorities, relayed by the government. MAP official agency .

Thousands of mostly sub-Saharan migrants, eager to reach Europe, are trying to cross the Mediterranean via Morocco. Spain has seen the number of arrivals more than double since the beginning of the year, particularly because of the situation in Libya.

Candidates for exile include Moroccans, often from the Rif, a poorly developed region in the north of the country that has been agitated in recent months by a popular social protest movement.

The Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in Morocco, facing the Spanish coast, have also seen several attempts at massive influx of migrants since last summer.

AFP