Death Toll In Migrant Boat Sinking Off Mauritania Rises To 63

Five more bodies have been recovered after a boat carrying migrants sank off the coast of Mauritania this week, raising the death toll to 63, a security official said on Friday.

The boat bound for Spain capsized on Wednesday with up to 180 people aboard.

The search was still ongoing for missing people off the Mauritanian city of Nouadhibou, the source told Mauritania’s state news agency AMI.

At least 20 people are thought to be unaccounted for.

Initially, authorities in the West African country said at least 58 people had died in the incident and 85 survived.

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The boat had set off on the journey to Spain from Gambia.

Fifty-two Gambians died in the incident, while 80 survived, the office of Gambian President Adama Barrow said on Thursday.

It added that the Gambian government will “dispatch a delegation to Mauritania at the earliest possible time to investigate and gather more information on the accident.”

Despite its population of less than 2 million people, Gambia is among the African countries with the highest number of people leaving the continent in search of a better life in Europe.

However, when former president Yahya Jammeh was forced to cede power in January 2017 after ruling for more than two decades, some Gambians started to voluntarily return to their homes.

Barrow succeeded Jammeh.