At least 35 illegal immigrants are now known to have died in the past five days trying to reach Spain. As in previous years the numbers trying to make the journey from Africa have increased with the arrival of summer. So too have the tragic consequences.
The 6 latest victims were among a group whose boat was discovered of the island of La Gomera in the Canaries. But officials fear that death toll could rise significantly as dozens are reported missing.
Since last Monday almost 300 immigrants have tried to reach Spanish shores in southern Spain or the Canary Islands. They set out from north Africa in often unseaworthy overcrowded boats.
On Wednesday the Spanish coast guard found 15 people dead on a boat off Almeria. Nine of them were children. Their vessel had reportedly been drifting in the Mediterranean for five days.
Spain is at the forefront of the EU’s fight against illegal immigration. Madrid has urged Europe to do more to fight poverty in Africa, the main cause of the phenomenon.