Sixteen Iranian and Iraqi migrants intercepted off Kent coast

Sixteen Iranian and Iraqi migrants including two children are intercepted off Kent coast after trying to cross the Channel in a small boat

  • Group of 12 men, two women and the children seen in early hours this morning
  • French authorities alerted UK officials who stopped boat before it reached shore
  • They were transferred to a UK Border Force vessel before being taken to Dover 

Sixteen migrants, including two children, were intercepted by the Border Force as they made their way across the Channel in a small boat.

The group of 12 men, two women and the children were seen in the early hours of this morning and are believed to be Iranian and Iraqi nationals. 

French authorities then alerted the UK Border Force, who stopped the boat before it reached Kent shores.

Sixteen migrants, including two children, were intercepted by the Border Force as they made their way across the Channel in a small boat (File photo)

The group were transferred to a cutter vessel before being brought to Dover and they have been transferred to immigration officers for interview.

It comes after a series of attempts by groups of migrants and refugees to reach British shores.

In April, 21 migrants, including a one-year-old child, were rescued from the Channel after leaving France in two boats.

Seven of them, including the children, were suffering from hypothermia and were taken to hospital.

After being rescued, the group were handed back to French authorities.

In March, 18 migrants – including a family with two young children – arrived in two separate incidents off the Kent coast.

In April, 21 migrants, including a one-year-old child, were rescued from the Channel after leaving France in two boats 

Seven of them, including the children, were suffering from hypothermia and were taken to hospital 

In December, Home Secretary Sajid Javid declared a ‘major incident’ and ordered two Border Force boats to be redeployed to the Channel in an effort to deal with attempted crossings. 

Speaking about today’s incident, a Home Office spokesman said: ‘Anyone crossing the Channel in a small boat is taking a huge risk with their life and the lives of their children.

‘Since the Home Secretary declared a major incident in December we have agreed a joint action plan with France and increased activity out of the Joint Coordination and Information Centre in Calais.

‘It is an established principle that those in need of protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach.’  

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