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Senegal intercepts boats carrying 262 migrants

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SAINT LOUIS: The Senegalese Navy said on Sunday it had stopped two more boats carrying 262 would-be migrants late the previous night, taking the total to five boats intercepted and over 600 people rescued by a navy patrol boat since Thursday.

Those rescued included 26 women and 13 minors, the navy said in a post on social media platform X, sharing photos of dozens of people on a patrol boat and others seated in rows on a quay.

The successive rescues comes during the busy summer season when thousands of migrants brave the hundreds of miles of ocean separating Africa from Europe each year in a desperate search for a better life.

In August, only 37 survived after a migrant boat carrying 101 people from Senegal was found to have been adrift in the ocean without fuel for weeks.

From Senegal, they leave fishing villages and towns along the country’s Atlantic shorelines in brightly painted fishing vessels for the open ocean, overloaded with people with no shelter from the elements.

Another fishing boat on Saturday carrying more than a hundred people from the south of the country ran aground in the coastal city of Saint Louis when it was forced to turn around by high winds, witnesses said.

Videos shared on X sho­w­ed the boat being tossed by waves close to a beach as dozens of would-be migrants jump off and try to swim ashore.

Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2023

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