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More than 60 migrants feared dead at sea off Cape Verde coast



The group were said to have been in a boat similar to this one, involved in an incident in July in which 15 migrants drowned. (Photo: Reuters)

More than 60 people are feared dead after a boat carrying migrants was found off Cape Verde in West Africa, BBC reported.

Thirty-eight people, including children, were rescued.

Almost all those on board the boat, which was at sea for over a month, are thought to have been from Senegal.

The vessel was first spotted on Monday, police told the AFP news agency. Initial reports suggested the boat had sunk but it was later clarified that it had been found drifting.

The wooden pirogue style boat was seen almost 320km (200 miles) off Sal, a part of Cape Verde, by a Spanish fishing boat, which then alerted authorities, police said.

The survivors include four children aged between 12 and 16, a spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

Senegal's foreign ministry said in a statement issued late on Tuesday that the boat had left the country on July 10 with 101 passengers on board.

The passengers' other countries of origin reportedly included Sierra Leone and, in one case, Guinea-Bissau.

Cape Verde is around 600km off the coast of West Africa on a maritime migration route to the Spanish Canary Islands, often used as a gateway to the EU.

At least 559 people died trying to reach the Canary Islands in 2022, according to figures from the IOM, while 126 people died or went missing on the same route in the first six months of this year with 15 shipwrecks recorded.

At least 15 people drowned when a boat carrying migrants capsized off the coast of the Senegalese capital Dakar in late July. (With inputs from BBC)




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