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Mauritanian Coastguards Recover 89 Bodies from Capsized Migrant Boat
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Mauritanian coastguards have recovered the bodies of 89 migrants from a boat that capsized in the Atlantic Ocean on Monday. Nine survivors, including a five-year-old girl, were rescued, but dozens remain missing.

According to survivors, the vessel, a traditional fishing boat, set sail last week from the Senegalese-Gambian border with 170 people on board. It capsized off Mauritania’s southwestern coast.

Mauritania is a key transit point for migrants attempting to reach Europe from West Africa, with thousands of boats departing from the country each year. The most common destination on this perilous route is Spain’s Canary Islands. The Spanish government reports that nearly 40,000 people arrived in the Canary Islands last year, doubling the previous year’s numbers.

Desperate to reach Europe, migrants often travel in overloaded boats. The Caminando Fronteras charity estimates that more than 5,000 migrants died while attempting to reach Spain by sea in the first five months of 2024.

In April, the EU granted Mauritania €210 million (£177 million; $225 million) in aid, with nearly €60 million allocated to combat undocumented migration to Europe.

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Piers Potter

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