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Last Updated: Friday, 13 August, 2004, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK
Migrants' boat sinks off Canaries
A would-be African migrant rests at a Red Cross centre on Fuerteventura on Friday
Tens of thousands of people try the risky crossing every year
A boat carrying African migrants has capsized near Spain's Canary Islands, leaving one woman dead and 32 people missing, police say.

A police patrol was approaching the boat in high seas when people on board stood up, causing it to capsize.

Six people were rescued and rescuers are searching for survivors off the island of Fuerteventura.

Earlier, police are said to have escorted two other boats carrying some 70 people to shore.

Police said conditions were bad, with swells of two to three metres (six to 10 feet).

The detained migrants, thought to come from Morocco or Sub-Saharan Africa, are likely to be swiftly returned to their home countries.

Every year, tens of thousands of people looking to escape poverty attempt the hazardous journey from Morocco to Spain or the Canary Islands, often in flimsy vessels.

An immigrant workers' group suggests thousands have died in recent years.

Sixteen would-be immigrants were killed in January this year when their boat capsized off Fuerteventura, and at least 14 were drowned in the same area in April.


SEE ALSO:
Migrants die on journey to Italy
08 Aug 04  |  Europe
African migrants' elusive dream
26 Apr 04  |  Africa


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