At least 89 people dead after migrant boat sinks off Mauritania’s coast

At least 89 migrants died when their boat capsized off the coast of Mauritania on Monday, the Mauritanian state-run news agency reported on Thursday.

The Mauritanian Coast Guard’s officers recovered the migrants’ bodies who were aboard a large traditional fishing boat when it capsized, the agency said. Nine people were rescued, including a 5-year-old girl, the agency reported.

The boat capsized off the coast, in the Atlantic Ocean, about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the country’s southwest city of Ndiago, the state-run news organization said.

The boat, which left the Gambia–Senegal border six days ago, was bound for Europe and had at least 170 migrants on board, the agency said, citing survivors.

Thousands of West African migrants take on perilous crossings on the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe in search of jobs and opportunities every year.

According to a 2024 report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the crossing on the Atlantic Ocean is considered incredibly dangerous due to the length of the journey to Europe, “with migrants often stuck at sea for long periods on inadequate boats in areas of the Atlantic Ocean lacking dedicated rescue operations.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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