13 Moroccans drown trying to reach Spanish territory

RABAT, Morocco, Dec 31 — The bodies of 13 Moroccans were being recovered following their boat sank off the country’s southern coast even though trying to attain Spain’s Canary Islands, Moroccan media documented.

The 45 travellers on board had been trying to access the islands’ key city of Las Palmas when their boat strike a rock and sank Friday, “10 minutes after” embarking in the vicinity of the town of Mirleft, in accordance to on the internet news company Hespress.

Twenty-four people, which includes a minimal, were being rescued from the drinking water and the human body of one particular girl was amongst individuals recovered, the Arabic-language internet site described.

Eight of the passengers continue being unaccounted for.

AFP contacted Moroccan authorities to verify the fatalities but obtained no quick comment.

Morocco’s 2M news support claimed the travellers had utilised an inflatable boat which was swiftly “damaged and the victims observed themselves in the center of the waves”.

Passage on the vessel experienced value involving 20,000 and 25,000 Moroccan dirhams (RM8,363 to RM10,564), Hespress said.

Located at Africa’s north-western idea, Morocco is a transit country for lots of migrants, significantly sub-Saharans, in search of to achieve Europe from its Atlantic or Mediterranean coasts.

According to a modern report by the Spanish human legal rights team Caminando Fronteras (Frontline Defenders), much more than 11,200 migrants have died or absent lacking while trying to attain Spain given that 2018, an common of six per day.

The route in between Morocco and the Canary Islands by yourself accounted for 7,692 of these deaths, the group reported.

Given that late 2019, the number of migrants attempting clandestine crossings together the perilous Atlantic migration route has surged as patrols in the Mediterranean intensified.

Spain’s inside ministry explained on December 15 that a total of 27,789 migrants experienced arrived at Spanish territory illegally this yr, which include 15,742 arrivals in the Canary Islands. — AFP