At least 17 migrants were reported to have died inside 24 hours while trying to cross the sea from North Africa to Spain. More than 100 others were rescued, the Spanish coast guard said on Monday November 5th.
Two rafts were found in the Western Mediterranean between the Iberian peninsula and Morocco and Algeria, with 80 people on them alive and 13 dead. They were taken to the Spanish North African enclave of Melilla. The Spanish coast guard also found four bodies and rescued 22 men in the Atlantic off the southern Spanish city of Cadiz.
Spain appears now to be the main destination for undocumented migrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East trying to reach Europe. More than 47,000 people made the journey to Spain between January 1st and October 30th, according to the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM). Almost 600 deaths were recorded.
So far this year there have been around 105,000 arrivals across the whole north coast of the Mediterranean, with 2,000 missing or dead.
That compares with 148,000 arriving by sea and almost 3,000 dying in the attempt during 2017.