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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

African migrants drowned at sea

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The Canary Islands has long been a magnet for African migrants Nineteen people, including an eight-year-old girl, drowned when a migrant boat capsized off the Canary Islands, Spanish rescuers say.

Three people are still said to be missing after the boat, mainly carrying North African migrants, overturned off the eastern coast of Lanzarote.

Local residents rescued six people from the vessel after Sunday’s accident.

Rescue helicopters have been scouring for any other survivors, but police say hopes are fading fast.

‘Screaming’

Anibal Betancourt, who took part in the rescue operation, told local radio they found survivors “clinging to the sinking boat and screaming”, reported the AFP news agency.

Most of the migrants involved are said to be from Morocco.

The Spanish Canary Islands off the north-eastern coast of Africa have in recent years attracted thousands of African migrants seeking a better life in Europe.

But increased surveillance has meant the number of migrants reaching the Canary Islands has dropped from almost 32,000 in 2006 to about 9,000 in 2008.

BBC

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