Two people were found dead on Thursday aboard a boat intercepted off Western Sahara by Moroccan coast guards with over 270 West African migrants on board, a military source said.
Among the rescued migrants were “200 Senegalese, 66 Gambians, three from Guinea, two Malians, and one Sierra Leonean,” the military source told the Moroccan news agency MAP.
The two dead, whose origins were not specified, were transferred to a hospital in the Western Sahara city of Dakhla while the surviving migrants received necessary care before being handed over to authorities.
Their boat, intercepted 290 kilometres (around 180 miles) south of Dakhla, took off from Senegal six days ago in an attempt to reach the Spanish Canary Islands, the same source said.
Morocco’s navy on Monday recovered the bodies of three migrants and assisted two boats “in distress” full of dozens of migrants off Dakhla.
The Canary Islands have become an increasingly popular conduit for boats setting off from West and North Africa, including Morocco and the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
The latest data from Spain’s interior ministry showed 23,537 migrants reached the Canaries between January 1 and October 15.
Spain’s Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska has said on a visit to the archipelago that the spike in numbers resulted from political “destabilisation in the Sahel” region.
Source: Macau Business