At least 58 migrants drowned on Thursday as their boat carrying at least 150 people sank near the Mauritanian coast, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.mbi
According to Al Jazeera, “the sinking is one of the deadliest incidents since the mid-2000s when Spain stepped up patrols and fewer boats attempted the journey.” The survivors were being helped by Mauritanian authorities in the northern city of Nouadhibou, IOM said. 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 news agency 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.