Thirteen migrants found dead after shipwreck off Morocco

Thirteen migrants found dead after shipwreck off Morocco

Thirteen Moroccan migrants have been found dead after their boat sank off the southern coast of Morocco, according to several local media. Their makeshift boat was heading with its 45 passengers to the Canary Islands, a destination that more and more African migrants are trying to reach.

The Moroccan authorities have not yet confirmed the sinking but according to the 2M news site, the dinghy capsized as soon as it entered the sea, off Mirleft, a small Moroccan port south of Agadir.

According to the news site Hespress, he would have hit a rock. The lifeless bodies of 13 Moroccan migrants were recovered, including that of a woman. 24 other migrants, including a minor, were rescued. The death toll of 13 could still increase because eight other people are missing.

A total of 45 people were on board the makeshift boat heading for Las Palmas in Spain’s Canary Islands. They had paid sums ranging from 20,000 to 25,000 dirhams (1,800 to 2,200 euros).

This sea route is very perilous. Since 2018, it has claimed nearly 7,700 victims out of the 11,200 dead or missing migrants trying to reach Spain, according to the NGO Caminando Fronteras. But it is more and more borrowed by migrants since 2019, when patrols intensified in the Mediterranean.

Since the beginning of 2022, 27,789 migrants have managed to reach Spain illegally (including 15,742 in the Canary Islands), according to figures from the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, arrested on December 15.

► To read also: The Canary Islands, new “prison” for migrants from Europe

And on Saturday, the Libyan naval forces intercepted near Benghazi, in eastern Libya, a trawler carrying 650 migrants trying to reach Europe. Bangladeshi, Syrian and Egyptian nationals.