Moroccan police foiled on Friday an illegal immigration attempt near the capital Rabat and arrested 26 would-be immigrants.

The operation occurred off the coast of Mehdia town, 36 km north of Rabat, the police said in a statement, adding five women including a pregnant one were among the arrested.

Police seized two boats, two engines, a GPS device and five jerry cans filled with 200 liters of fuel, according to the statement.

Investigations are under way to arrest more in this criminal network.

Morocco has become a hub for African immigrants seeking to reach Europe, as thousands try to flee poverty and unrest in Africa each year through Morocco to Europe, either by land or by sea.

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