Thursday, March 16, 2006
The Spanish military hospital ship Esperanza del Mar picked up the bodies of 24 migrants in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Mauritania. The bodies were floating about 720 kilometers south of Spain's Canary Islands. Authorities believe they were North Africans who drowned while trying to reach Spain. The bodies were found one day after more than 330 migrants reached the islands in several boats - a single-day record for the Canaries.
Esperanza del Mar A delegation of Spanish officials plans to fly to Mauritania Thursday to discuss the migrant situation. Spain has already offered the west African nation patrol boats to intercept would-be immigrants. Spanish officials say about 3,000 North Africans have reached the Canary Islands in the first three months of the year. The Red Cross says more than 1,000 died trying.