Migrants die during Africa Spain crossing


At least 17 migrants died trying to cross from North Africa to Spain with rescuers picking up more than 100 others, the Spanish coast guard said.

Two rafts were found in the Western Mediterranean between the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco and Algeria with 80 people aboard and 13 dead. They were taken to the Spanish north African enclave Melilla, the coast guard said.

The coast guard found four further bodies and rescued 22 men in the Atlantic off Cadiz.

Spain is the main destination for undocumented migrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East trying to reach Europe.

More than 47,000 people made the treacherous journey to Spain, often on flimsy dinghies and rafts, from January 1 to October 30, according to the United Nation’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Almost 600 deaths were recorded in that period.

In 2018 there have been almost 100,000 arrivals throughout the Mediterranean and almost 2,000 missing or dead, down from the same period in 2017 when 148,000 arrived by sea and almost 3,000 perished.