Eleven people have died in a shipwreck off the coast of Algeria. Five others – including two children – were rescued, having spent 14 hours at sea.
The Spanish nongovernment organization CIPIMD (International Center for the Identification of Missing Migrants) first tweeted that "a boat carrying 16 people, including children, was shipwrecked on Sunday evening." This was corroborated by reports on the Facebook page of Algerian television channel El-Hayet, which said, "11 clandestine migrants who set sail from Fouka have died and five young people, two of them children, were rescued."
According to social media posts, the victims and survivors all originated from Fouka, located about 70 kilometers west of Algiers.
It is assumed that they were heading in the direction of the Balearic Islands.
Read more: More African migrants eye the Canary Islands
Mounting number of deaths at sea
The survivors reportedly spent 14 hours at sea before an Egyptian vessel rescued them and handed them over to Algerian authorities. Algeria has stepped up its efforts to stop irregular crossing, with the defence ministry saying that the Algerian coast guard has "thwarted several attempts at illegal emigration and has rescued 172 people aboard makeshift boats" between May 4 and 11 alone.
In 2021, more than 4,400 migrants died or went missing during their attempts to reach Spanish, marking the worst death toll since 2015, according to the Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras.