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Dozens of People Died As Migrant Boat Sinks Off Mauritania Coast: UN

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania – At least 58 people were killed, including women and children, after a boat carrying dozens of migrants capsized off the West African nation of Mauritania in the Atlantic Ocean, the UN Migration Agency said Thursday.
Once a major route for refugees seeking jobs and prosperity was the dangerous sea passage from West Africa to Europe.
The sinking is one of the most dangerous accidents since Spain stepped up patrols in the mid-2000s and attempted the journey with fewer ships.
The boat carrying at least 150 people was low on fuel while approaching Mauritania before it capsized, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.
It said 83 people swam to shore. The survivors were being helped by Mauritanian authorities in the northern city of Nouadhibou, IOM said.
Survivors said the boat left The Gambia on November 27.
IOM’s Leonard Doyle said the vessel was unseaworthy and overcrowded when it overturned.
“It speaks really to the callousness of the smugglers who of course have made their money and disappeared into the wilderness. That’s the problem here, people are being exploited, people are looking for a better life,” Doyle told Al Jazeera.
An unknown number of injured were taken to hospital in Nouadhibou.
There was no immediate statement from authorities in The Gambia, a small West African nation from which many migrants set off in hopes of reaching Europe.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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