Mauritania rejects boat carrying mostly Pakistani migrants
A vessel which broke down with about 200 illegal migrants on board is being refused permission by Mauritania to dock or allow passengers ashore.
The ship is thought to be carrying mostly Pakistani migrants.
It was reached by a Spanish vessel on Saturday and towed to within 12km (7.5 miles) of Nouadhibou fishing port.
"Mauritania has nothing to do with this boat breaking down, nor with taking charge of those on board," said a foreign ministry statement.
Neighbouring Senegal has also said it could not handle the ship.
The Spanish foreign ministry earlier reported that Mauritania had agreed to help with the rescue.
But a security source said the Pakistanis had not been intercepted in Mauritanian territorial waters and there was no question they could be taken there.
Senegal and Mauritania are launching points for tens of thousands of African migrants looking to reach Europe, many via the Canary Islands.
About 30,000 Africans were caught trying to reach the Spanish island chain last year.
EU patrols are now trying to stem the flow of immigrants.
Mauritania bars boat carrying Pakistani migrants
Migrants' Boat Barred From Mauritania