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Eleven migrants die in small boat off Spain

4 January 2019

A Spanish Navy research vessel found the bodies of 11 people in a small boat off the strait of Gibraltar in late December. The boat was carrying 55 passengers when it set off for Spain, and a further 11 people remained missing. One of the 33 people rescued later died in hospital. The Spanish authorities had also been looking for three more boats carrying more than 100 people in total.

The International Organization for Migration says that more than 55,200 migrants and refugees had reached Spain by sea in 2018, and 743 had died in the attempt to cross from North Africa.

Meanwhile, Malta airlifted a newborn and his mother from a Spanish migrant rescue ship carrying more than 300 migrants and refugees on board. The rescue took place in Libyan waters, and the rescue vessel headed towards Spain to disembark the passengers.

Spain has been admitting more migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe as Italy and Malta have tightened up their admission policies. IOM figures show that more than 1,300 people died trying to reach Italy or Malta during 2018.


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