Over 80 asylum seekers drown off Mauritania’s coast; 36 rescued from capsized boat

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DAKAR,July 4 /Reuters/– More than 80 irregular asylum seekers have drowned off the coast of Ndiago city in southern Mauritania, according to local media.

A boat carrying around 184 people sank off the Mauritanian coast, the local Alakhbar news agency reported on Thursday.

“So far, 87 bodies have been recovered, while 36 survivors were rescued,” the broadcaster said.

Local authorities continue to search for several missing individuals who were aboard the sunken vessel.

The majority of the migrants on the capsized boat were of Senegalese nationality along with migrants from other African countries, the news agency said.

Mauritania is a major transit point for African asylum seekers seeking to cross into Europe.

Despite lacking specific statistics, authorities assert that their security strategy against irregular migration has been successful, with well-regulated and protected coastal areas and border crossings.

Last February, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced 522 million euros in aid to Mauritania to address irregular migration.

The North African country has also entered into agreements with several European nations to combat irregular migration, particularly with Spain.

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