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Spain: 1 dead, 24 missing after migrant boat capsizes

MADRID (AP) — A boat carrying migrants capsized off Spain’s Canary Islands, leaving one person dead and another 24 missing, authorities said.

The vessel overturned sometime between Monday afternoon and early Tuesday, Spain’s marine rescue service said.

Spanish rescuers intercepted three boats heading to the islands, rescuing a total of 116 people, a spokeswoman told The Associated Press.

Two of the boats were located on Monday afternoon, drifting about 65 kilometers (40 miles) south of the archipelago, which lies off the northwest coast of Africa.

A third boat was found capsized around 225 kilometers (140 miles) south of the islands. Marine services rescued 36 people, including 10 women and two minors, and recovered the body of a woman. The search has since been halted, said the spokeswoman, who isn’t authorized to be named in the media.

Authorities had been told that the sinking boat, which is believed to have set off from Cape Bojador in the disputed territory of Western Sahara, had been carrying 61 migrants, she added.

In recent years, migrants have been braving the Atlantic Ocean crossing to make it to the Canary Islands, risking one of the most dangerous routes to European territory.

Last year, 22,316 migrants arrived via the Canary Islands. From January to mid-April this year, 6,359 migrants have arrived in the Canary Islands, according to the Interior Ministry, a 60% rise compared to the same period last year.

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Follow AP’s coverage of migration issues at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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