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The Maritime Safety Agency said, spanish emergency services picked up 755 immigrants traveling in dozens of small boats and makeshift rafts across the Strait of Gibraltar on Tuesday and 227 from the same stretch of water the day before. The Mediterranean shipping lane is almost 9 miles wide at its narrowest and is often used by migrants trying to get to Europe. The UNHCR agency says, more than 75,000 have tried to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa in the first half of 2014, landing in Italy, Greece, Spain and Malta, with about 800 people dying in the attempt. The U.N. refugee agency said in July, the number of people trying to get to Europe across the Mediterranean is already about 60 percent higher than the whole of last year.

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