50 migrants feared dead near Morocco-Spain coast

| Updated: Jul 06, 2017 11:36 IST

Madrid [Spain], Jul 6 (ANI): At least 50 migrants died after their boat sank between the coasts of Spain and Morocco, according to the Spanish Coast Guard. According to Anadolu, the migrants, reportedly, departed from Morocco on Sunday night, but later their boat capsized after being hit by waves, said a coast guard statement. On Tuesday, the coast guard rescued three men who were clinging to the "half-sunken" ship, but authorities have not been able to find the other 49 migrants who were aboard. If the missing are confirmed dead, this would be the most lethal sea crossing in the western Mediterranean this year. As of July 3, the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that 60 migrants have died on the same route since the beginning of the year, making it nearly twice as lethal as the Greek route, but significantly less so than the central Mediterranean route through Italy. Human rights groups in Spain have condemned the situation, calling on the government to offer a more secure route into Spain. "Spain must facilitate access to asylum in the offices in Ceuta and Melilla to avoid more deaths," said the non-profit Spanish Refugee Aid Commission (CEAR) in a statement. (ANI)