Bodies of 89 migrants retrieved from Atlantic

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Coastguards in Mauritania have recovered 89 bodies of migrants from a boat that capsized in the Atlantic Ocean on Monday.

Nine people – including a five-year-old girl – were rescued, but dozens more are missing.

Survivors say the vessel – a traditional fishing boat – set sail last week from the Senegalese-Gambian border area with 170 people on board. It capsized off Mauritania’s south-western coast.

Mauritania is a key transit point for migrants trying to reach Europe from West Africa, with thousands of boats departing from the country last year.

The most common destination on the perilous route is Spain’s Canary Islands.

The Spanish government says nearly 40,000 people arrived there last year – double the number from the previous year.

Desperate to get to Europe, migrants often travel in overloaded boats.

More than 5,000 migrants died while trying to reach Spain by sea in the first five months of 2024, the Ca-minando Fronteras charity estimates.

In April, the EU granted Mauritania €210m (£177m; $225m) in aid – almost €60m of which will be invested in the fight against undocumented migration to Europe.

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