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Spanish NGO: 44 migrants feared dead as boat capsizes off Western Sahara
Migrants risk death to escape conflicts and economic crises in their countries, hoping to reach Europe (Photo: anews)

The Anews reported, citing the Anadolu Agency, a Spanish NGO said that some 44 migrants are believed to have died after their boat, carrying over 50 people, sunk off Cape Bojador on the west coast of Western Sahara.

Helena Maleno Garzon, the founder of the migrant aid agency Caminando Fronteras (Walking Borders) said on Twitter on Sunday (May 8): "Forty-four people have died this morning in a shipwreck south of Cape Bojador."

Garzon said that seven bodies were retrieved from the sea and brought to shore , adding that "the rest of the victims were swallowed by the sea."

She said that the other 12 survivors are detained under the Moroccan immigration law.

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The Canary Islands migration route, also known as the Western African Route, has become a key way of entering Europe irregularly, passing mainly through Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, and Gambia.

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According to the Walking Borders, more than 4,400 people died on the route last year.

That makes 2021 the most deadly year on record for migrants trying to reach Spain and also makes the Canary Islands migration route one of the most treacherous on earth.

The route itself has become even more dangerous due to a remarkable increase in the number of inflatable boats.

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The Walking Borders said 2021 was the year these boats came to stay. In the first six months of last year, one-third of all these voyages ended in tragedy.

Source: anews