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425 Africans Arrive in Canary Islands


More than 425 Africans arrived on Spain's Canary Islands in five wooden fishing boats Thursday. They are the latest in a wave of illegal immigrants seeking entry into Europe

A Spanish Interior Ministry spokeswoman said a boat carrying 103 men landed on the island of Gomera late Thursday morning. The rest landed on other parts of the Canary Islands beginning shortly after midnight.

On Wednesday, authorities intercepted a boat crammed with 172 African immigrants off the islands . Officials say that is the highest number yet to arrive on a single vessel.

The wave of illegal African immigration to Europe has stepped up significantly in recent months. So far this year, about 10,000 Africans have landed in the Canaries - double the number that arrived in all of 2005.

Spain's prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has pledged to use all resources possible to stem the flow.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.