MADRID (AP) — Spain's maritime rescue service says it has saved nearly 1,000 migrants attempting the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean to Europe from North Africa over the last two days.

The service says it pulled 206 people from 10 different boats Saturday morning, after rescuing 774 migrants traveling in 52 boats on Friday.

As a crackdown by Libyan authorities has made it more difficult for migrants to reach Italy, many are attempting the trip from Algeria and Morocco into Spain, where over 20,000 have already arrived by sea in 2018.

Human trafficking mafias pack the migrants into small craft unfit for open waters. Over 1,500 people have died so far this year trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

Migration into Europe is down sharply from previous years but the topic has become very political.