MADRID (AP) — Spain's maritime rescue service says it has saved 123 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa.

The service says it pulled the migrants from 12 different boats intercepted by rescue craft Sunday morning in the Strait of Gibraltar.

The latest arrivals come after Spain rescued nearly 1,000 people attempting the perilous journey from African to European shores on Friday and Saturday.

Spain has received over 20,000 migrants by sea in 2018. A crackdown by Libyan authorities and Italy's refusal to let rescue boats dock has made it more difficult for migrants to reach Italy.

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.