Saudi Arabia intercepts 122 'illegal migrants'

Saudi Arabia intercepts 122 'illegal migrants'
2 min read
14 June, 2016
More than 100 migrants attempting to reach Saudi Arabia via the Red Sea were seized by the kingdom's coast guards, official media said on Monday.
Thousands have attempted to flee war via boats in recent years [AFP]
Saudi authorities seized 122 "illegal migrants" attempting to cross the Red Sea to reach the kingdom, official media said on Monday.

Border guards intercepted four attempts in the past two days, the Saudi press agency said, adding the migrants came from Africa.

The migrants - dubbed "infiltrators" by the kingdom - included women and children who made the journey across the sea on a wooden boat.

Of the 122, 109 were Sudanese, 11 were Nigerian, one was Ethiopian and one was a Chad national, authorities confirmed.

Millions have attempted to seek refuge in other parts of the world in recent years with more than 10,000 people dying while crossing the Mediterranean sea from Africa to Europe, according to the United Nations.

Earlier this month, more than 100 bodies were retrieved after a boat capsized off Libya's shores, just hours after news of another disaster off Greece.

Some 204,000 refugees have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe since January, according to the United Nations refugee agency, while more than 2,500 people have died trying to make the perilous journey this year.

The vast majority were killed crossing between Libya and Italy, as arrivals to Greece have fallen sharply since the EU entered a controversial deal on March 20 with key transit country Turkey to stem the flow of migrants.