140 Migrants Die Heading to the Canary Islands After Boat Sinks

Canary Islands

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It was carrying about 200 people, but only 59 of them were rescued alive after the intervention of official ships from Senegal and Spain and fishing boats operating in the area.

At least 140 migrants and refugees have lost their lives after the boat in which they were traveling sank off the coast of Senegal, in the deadliest shipwreck recorded so far in 2020, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM ).

The ship in question left Senegal on October 24th, from the town of Mbour, bound for the Canary Islands. According to local leaders quoted by the IOM, the boat caught fire just hours after setting sail and sank near Saint-Louis, on the northwest coast of the African country.

The wrecked boat was carrying about 200 people, but only 59 of them were rescued alive after the intervention of official ships from Senegal and Spain and fishing boats operating in the area. At least 20 bodies have been located.

The head of the IOM in Senegal, Bakary Doumbia, has expressed his dismay at these events and has called for the "unity" of the international community to put an end to human trafficking, "which preys on desperate young people" seeking a future best in southern European countries. "It is also important to advocate for legal channels that harm the traffickers' business model and prevent people from continuing to die," Doumbia added in a statement.

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