Immigrants die in boat off W Africa

Dozens of would-be illegal immigrants are feared dead on a journey to Europe.

    West African governments campaign to discourage residents from attempting the journey to Europe [AP]

    Meanwhile, Spain's interior ministry said it knew "the boat left [Africa] with 57 passengers," an indication that 49 others may have died.

    "There was a foul stench and I think those people had been dead for around six or seven days, maybe more," the captain told national radio from the fishing boat.

    According to the Spanish development ministry, the survivor and the seven corpses were transferred from the fishing boat to a Spanish rescue boat on Thursday and are to be taken to the Canary Islands.

    Dangerous pursuits 

    More than 31,200 illegal immigrants arrived in the Canary Islands last year.

    But maritime patrols off the west African coast by Frontex, an EU border agency, have led to a reduction, as an estimated 8,200 people reached the islands since the beginning of 2007.

    An unknown number of migrants die each year trying to reach Europe in search of work.

    In July, 50 people died after their boat capsized near the island of Tenerife.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    FGM: The last cutting season

    FGM: The last cutting season

    Maasai women are spearheading an alternative rite of passage that excludes female genital mutilation.

    'No girl is safe': The mothers ironing their daughters' breasts

    Victims of breast ironing: It felt like 'fire'

    Cameroonian girls are enduring a painful daily procedure with long lasting physical and psychological consequences.

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    For Ethiopia, a new dam holds the promise of much-needed electricity; for Egypt, the fear of a devastating water crisis.