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Morocco: Dozens people die trying to crossing the Mediterranean

Migrants rights group said 43 people died at sea while trying to cross Mediterranean into Spain
Moroccans in the seaside town of Skhirat check the area where a boat carrying Moroccan migrants capsized during a bid to reach Europe by sea, 12 November 2021 (AFP)

More than 40 people, including three children, have died after their boat capsized off the coast of Tarfaya in southern Morocco on Monday, a migrants rights group said.

Survivors had called for help in the early hours of Sunday morning and were able to hold contact for two hours. 

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But the Spanish organisation Caminando Fronteras, which tracks data from boats in distress, told AFP “it took hours for the (Moroccan) authorities to locate and save the boat.” 

Only two bodies have so far been recovered, while 10 others were rescued from the shipwreck, according to the organisation's spokesperson. 

More than 4,000 people were killed or disappeared last year attempting to make the crossing to Spain from Morocco. 

Morocco is a key departure point to Spain and is used by many migrants hoping to reach Europe. 

But the figures in 2021 of those dead or missing were twice as many as in 2020, according to Caminando Fronteras. 

The Spanish interior minister has said that more than 370,000 migrants have crossed into Spain by sea in 2021.