Aljazeera's correspondent in Rabat said 14 bodies washed up on a Mediterranean beach in Seydi Oangosh area, east of the Moroccan city of Tangiers. Ninety-one people, however, swam to safety.

The boat sank about 20km east of Tangiers late on Sunday or early Monday, Interior Ministry officials said. The victims were from sub-Saharan Africa.

According to testimony from those rescued, the would-be immigrants had crammed on board in hopes of crossing the Mediterranean and slipping illegally into Spain, the officials said.

Rescuers were still searching for bodies.

Every year, thousands of migrants make the dangerous trip across the Mediterranean, seeking a better life in Europe.

At the closest point, Europe and North Africa are separated by only a 12km stretch of water between Spain and Morocco.