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More Migrants Plucked From Channel

FILE: Members of the British military assist UK Border Force officers as migrants disembark at the port of Dover after being picked up crossing the English Channel from France on April 14, 2022.

French emergency services rescued 240 migrants heading in small boats across the Channel to the southern coast of England within a 24 hour period this week, local authorities said.

According to the UK authorities, 426 migrants were detected crossing the Channel on Monday after very few crossed the week earlier during a period of bad weather.

The 240 escued were plucked from the water in five different operations between Monday and Tuesday off Calais on France's northern coast, France's Maritime Prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea said in a statement late Tuesday.

Britain and France this month signed a deal for UK authorities to increase what their French counterparts are paid to prevent the crossings, as ties warm under new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

UK police on Tuesday arrested a man suspected of playing a "key role" in the deaths of at least 27 people who drowned attempting to cross the Channel in a dinghy last November in the deadliest such tragedy.

Among the 27 -- aged seven to 47 -- were 16 Iraqi Kurds, four Afghans, three Ethiopians, one Somali, one Egyptian and one Vietnamese migrant.

Attention has however now switched to Albanian nationals, who have been crossing the Channel in unprecedentedly high numbers.