Over 300 refugees and migrants were rescued in seven dinghies off Spain’s southern coast after attempting to cross the sea from Morocco, the Spanish maritime rescue service said yesterday.

Of the 317 refugees and migrants, who were mainly of northern African and sub-Saharan origin, there were 31 children and one baby, the maritime rescue service added.

Spain has this year reported a spike in the number of migrants coming into the country by sea or trying to cross the borders in its two North African enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, and numbers are expected to double when compared to 2016.

Government data shows that migrant arrivals in Spain are on track to reach 11,000 in comparison to the 5,000 average between 2010-2016. Many more migrants are still using the sea route between Libya and Italy to try and reach Europe, however.

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