African migrants die as boat drifts

Cargo ship rescues 25 African migrants from boat off the Spanish coast.

    The Spanish Canary Islands are a common destination for African migrants [EPA]

    "We can never know the exact number,'' Roman said.

    The 25 survivors included five women and five children. One woman said her husband and three small children died at sea, Roman said.

    "She was in shock, in a state of great anguish,'' he said.

    Migrant routes

    Mainland Spain and its Canary Islands off the coast of West Africa are a common destination for destitute Africans who risk their lives for a chance to reach Europe and find work.

    Two similar events claimed nearly 30 lives in July, also in waters off southern Spain.

    Traditionally, migrants travelled through Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar or crossed the Mediterranean further east to get to the Spanish mainland.

    But a crackdown in recent years has prompted traffickers to move operations west to countries such as Mauritania, now the launching point for much-longer voyages to the Canary Islands.

    The number of those who actually make it to the Canary Islands is down drastically because of better surveillance of African coastal waters, Spanish officials say.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Senegal's village of women

    Senegal's village of women

    Women in northeast Senegal are using solar-powered irrigation to farm food and halt the encroaching desert.

    Inside Baltimore's human trafficking industry

    Inside Baltimore's human trafficking industry

    Survivors of sex trafficking and those who investigate it in the city share their stories.

    A tale of two isolations

    A tale of two isolations

    More than 1,000km apart, a filmmaker and the subject of his film contend with the methods and meanings of solitude.