String of boat wrecks leave at least 90 dead

11th December 2007, Comments 0 comments

At least 90 African migrants are missing and feared dead following several shipwrecks off the North African coast.

11 December 2007

MADRID - At least 90 African migrants are missing and feared dead following several shipwrecks off the North African coast over the weekend, according to reports made public Monday by Morocco and Senegal.

The migrants are among hundreds who set off for Spain's Canary Islands in recent weeks, but who found themselves stranded at sea or beaten back to the African coast by rough seas.

The first incident occurred on Saturday night approximately 30 kilometres offshore from the city of Dhakla in Western Sahara when a Moroccan fishing boat spotted a makeshift vessel floundering with between 54 and 56 migrants aboard. The boat had set sail on 30 November from Nouadhibou in Mauritania. By the time Moroccan navy rescuers arrived at the location where the vessel was last seen they were only able to rescue six of the occupants. The remaining migrants have been declared missing.

In Senegal, a boat carrying 130 migrants that departed from the city of Casamancia on 28 November was found wrecked on Saturday north of Dakar. Of the original occupants only 90 made it to shore. Seventy of those fled before police arrived, while 20 others were hospitalised.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL./ Ignacio Cembrero 2007]

Subject: Spanish news

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