Two dead, 9 missing as migrant boat capsizes off southeast Spain

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Two people are confirmed dead while another nine are still missing on Sunday after a boat carrying Algerian migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean from the coast of North Africa overturned 300 meters from the shore of southeast Spain.

The tragedy happened late Saturday night close to the beach of a small resort called Mazarron in the Autonomous Community of Murcia, the regional authorities have informed.

Two bodies have so far been recovered, while three people were rescued and taken to nearby hospitals in Almeria and Cartagena.

The Murcia regional government noted that "various boats and two helicopters from Maritime Rescue Service and the Civil Guard" are continuing to search for the nine still missing.

The tragedy happened on the high seas after strong winds hit the region. Days earlier several other boats carrying around 180 Algerian migrants had managed to complete the dangerous crossing.

According to the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, 41,861 illegal immigrants arrived in Spain during 2020, with 23,023 making the dangerous crossing to the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

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