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Spanish police intercept 85 migrants in two boats

MADRID -- Spanish Civil Guards intercepted two boats carrying 85 migrants in waters off the country's southern coast, an official for the Marine Rescue service said Wednesday.

Fifty-seven migrants, including three women and a child, were found in the first boat, a dinghy-style, single-engine rubber boat, some 18 nautical miles (33 kilometers) from the port of Adra, the official said.

The boat was spotted Tuesday afternoon by a Maltese ship after the husband of one of the women telephoned Spanish police from Morocco to say his wife was on a migrant boat.

The migrants were mostly from sub-Saharan African countries. They are believed to have set sail from northern Morocco and had been at sea for some 15 hours.

A second, similar boat was intercepted just before midnight Tuesday carrying 28 Algerian men in the same area, the official said. The boat is believed to have sailed from near Oran, in northern Algeria.

The spokesman said all the migrants were in good health and were given blankets and hot drinks on being taken to shore.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with the service's regulations.

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