Morocco's state news agency says at least six people died when a boat carrying illegal migrants sank off the Mediterranean shore near the Spanish enclave of Melillla.

According to authorities in the Nador province quoted by the MAP news agency, the boat was carrying 20 people when it sank early Friday, including two migrant traffickers.

The report says authorities found six corpses on Boukana beach near the town of Nador and rescued 10 people. Those rescued were taken to the Hassani Hospital, and nine were later released. One remains hospitalized in critical condition.

The Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta, surrounded by Moroccan territory on the southern shores of the Mediterranean, attract thousands of African migrants every year trying to enter illegally in hopes of a better life in Europe.