Migrant crisis: Hundreds evicted from Gran Canaria port as arrivals surge

Publishedduration47 minutes agoRelated Topics

  • Europe migrant crisis

Hundreds of migrants have been removed by police from a crowded dock in Spain's Canary Islands, following a sharp rise in the number of people arriving there from Africa.

A group of 225 people were evicted from the Arguineguín port in Gran Canaria on Tuesday, but thousands still remain.

It follows protests over conditions at the port, which an immigration judge earlier described as "inhumane".

A total of 16,700 migrants have reached the Canary Islands so far this year.

That is a rise of more than 1,000% on the same period last year, according to official data seen by the Spanish public broadcaster RTVE.

More than half of this year's arrivals took place over the last month, the data shows. The island chain is just 100km (60 miles) off the coast of North Africa.

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Police evicted the migrants from the emergency camp at Arguineguín on Tuesday, and video showed many of them wandering around the small fishing village. The move was instigated by the national government, and local authorities were quick to criticise the plan.

"The [migrants] have been left without food, drink or [a] destination to go to," one local official told the Efe news agency.

Shortly after their removal, the island authorities arranged buses to take the migrants to a reception facility in the capital city Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Many of the arrivals are believed to be young men from Morocco and the country's consulate is in the city.

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