Morocco. Shipwreck: Thirteen migrants found dead
The bodies of 13 Moroccan migrants, including a woman, were recovered Friday by Moroccan authorities, after their boat sank off Mirleft, in the south of the country, according to local media.
Twenty-four other migrants, including minors, were rescued, the Hespress news site said Friday evening citing anonymous sources in Mirleft, a coastal town in the south of the kingdom.
The number of 13 deaths given by Hespress can still be increased because eight more people are missing.
A total of 45 people were on board the improvised boat which was going to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands in Spain. They had paid sums ranging from 20,000 to 25,000 dirhams (between 1,800 and 2,200 euros), details this Arabic-speaking site.
It was not possible to confirm the drowning with the Moroccan authorities.
As soon as it entered the sea, the inflatable boat that was used during this operation “was damaged and the victims found themselves in the middle of the waves”, indicates 2M, another information site.
A dangerous migratory route
According to Hespress, the boat hit a rock and “overturned, about 10 minutes later” it left the coast.
Located at the north-western edge of Africa, Morocco is a transit country for many migrants, particularly sub-Saharan ones, who seek to reach Europe from the Atlantic or Mediterranean coasts.
According to a report by the Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras, more than 11,200 migrants have died or disappeared since 2018 trying to reach Spain, an average of six a day.
The route alone between the northwest coast of Africa and the Canary Islands accounts for 7,692 dead migrants, according to Caminando Fronteras.
Since the end of 2019, the number of migrants trying to cross clandestinely through the dangerous Atlantic migration route has increased as patrols in the Mediterranean have intensified.
Since the beginning of 2022, 27,789 migrants managed to arrive in Spain illegally (including 15,742 in the Canary Islands), according to figures of the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, arrested on 15 December.
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