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Five migrants die en route to Spanish island

Five migrants have died and another six are missing after their boat capsized in rough weather off the coast of Spain’s holiday island of Lanzarote, local authorities said Wednesday.

Rescuers managed to save four people who were travelling on the boat, which is believed to have been carrying 15 migrants, said Isidoro Blanco, the spokesman for emergency services on the island, one of Spain’s Canary Islands.

“Six people are still missing. The sea is very dangerous, with waves of three to four metres (13 feet),” he told Spanish public television.

It was not immediately clear where the migrants came from but the survivors said they had been at sea since Friday, he added.

Firefighters recovered the bodies with “great difficulty” because of “the strong waves, which caused the boat capsize,” Lanzarote’s regional government said in a statement.

A helicopter and two coastguard boats mounted a search for the missing migrants, local emergency services said in a tweet.

About 100 kilometres (60 miles) of Atlantic Ocean separate the Spanish archipelago from the coast of Morocco.