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Border agents stopped a boat off the coast of San Diego last week and found 18 undocumented immigrants attempting to enter the U.S. illegally, authorities said Monday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents on an aircraft patrol spotted a panga boat with no lights leaving Mexican waters and headed toward the U.

S. late June 24, CBP said in a statement.

Border agents stopped a boat last week off the coast of San Diego with 18 undocumented immigrants abroad. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

The boat was tracked before the aircraft patrol handed it off to a second crew.

Several hours later on June 25, the boat was intercepted 35 nautical miles off the coast fo San Diego. Agents found 18 adults -- 16 men and two women --  aboard.

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All were Mexican citizens and have no legal status in the U.S., CBP said. They were turned over to border agents for processing.

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Iraq partially reopens Iran trade crossing

BASRA, Iraq, July 7 (Reuters) – Iraq partially reopened its southern Shalamcheh border crossing with Iran on Tuesday after more than three months of closure to combat the spread of the new coronavirus, border officials said.

The crossing was being opened only for the trade of foodstuffs, allowing in some 500 trucks from Iran per week and would open every Wednesday and Sunday from now on, one of the officials said.

Iraq closed its international borders and provincial boundaries in March except for the delivery of essential goods such as food as it sought to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Iran, which shares a long border with Iraq, has been the epicentre of the virus in the Middle East but the spread has also accelerated in Iraq which is registering nearly 2,000 new cases every day. More than 2,500 people have died from COVID-19 in Iraq according to its health ministry.

Iran is one of Iraq’s biggest trading partners. Both countries’ economies are in crisis. Iran continues to suffer from U.S. sanctions and Iraq is reeling from low prices of oil, which accounts for almost all its state revenue. (Reporting by Aref Mohammed, writing by John Davison; editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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