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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 April, 2004, 07:45 GMT 08:45 UK
'Immigrants' die off Canary Islands
At least 14 suspected immigrants have drowned at sea off the coast of Spain's Canary Islands, police say.

The passengers - all thought to be from sub-Saharan Africa - were travelling in a makeshift boat when it collided with another vessel, police said.

Police were interviewing 46 passengers of the other vessel - also suspected immigrants - who made it ashore near the resort island of Fuerteventura.

Thousands have died on the treacherous sea journey from Africa to Europe.

The route from the north coast of Morocco to the Canary Islands is a particularly popular one for the makeshift vessels which carry the migrants.

Spain and Morocco agreed two months ago to launch joint surveillance operations to combat the tide of migrants heading for Europe from Africa.

Helicopters and patrol boats were scouring the waves for survivors from Saturday's disaster.

Witnesses said a baby was among those missing in the water, feared drowned.

Sixteen would-be immigrants were killed in January this year when their boat capsized off Fuerteventura.


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