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Ivory Coast Boy Smuggled to Spain in Suitcase

FILE - Migrants are disembarked from the Italian navy ship Vega in the Sicilian harbor of Augusta, southern Italy, May 4, 2015.

Police in Spain say they found an eight-year-old Ivorian boy smuggled into the country inside a suitcase.

Police say they detected the boy when border guards put the suitcase through a scanner at the land border crossing in Ceuta, a Spanish city enclave in Morocco.

They say the suitcase was carried by a 19-year old Moroccan woman who looked nervous as she waited in line Thursday to enter the enclave.

Border officers arrested the woman, who said the boy's father asked her to bring the child into Spain. They later arrested the father at the same crossing when he tried to enter the country.

The boy is now in the care of authorities in Ceuta.

Thousands of migrants risk their lives each year trying to enter Ceuta, and another Spanish enclave, Melilla. Many Africans try to climb over the seven-meter fences that separate the Spanish cities from Morocco.

In April, a ship carrying migrants from the Middle East and Africa capsized trying to reach Italy, killing about 800 people. The captain of that boat mistakenly rammed it into a commercial ship.

Italy says mild weather and a calm Mediterranean are expected to push the number of migrant arrivals to 200,000 this year — 30,000 more than in 2014.

Some material for this report comes from AP, AFP and Reuters.

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