A total of 32 people were missing and 25 others injured after the boat carrying these illegal immigrants collided with a fishing boat and capsized in the waters near Mauritania's capital of Nouakchott on Saturday night.
According to reports from Mauritania on Sunday, the boat had been bound for the Canary Islands, Spain's Atlantic tropical resort, when the accident occurred. Authorities were investigating the identification of the rescued passengers, and many of them were hospitalized in Nouakchott.
Over 1,000 illegal immigrants from sub-Sahara had been drowned since January, as part of a constant flow of illegal immigrants attempting to steal into Spain and other European countries through Nouakchott and another port city, Nouadhibou, in northwest Mauritania.
The Mauritanian government has set up a refugee center in Nouadhibou to shelter those who have been sent back by Spain.
The Spanish government launched an urgent plan in March in the hope of stemming an upsurge in illegal African immigrants.
Under the plan, Spain provided Mauritania with help in patrolling its coast in a bid to stop the country's illegal immigrants, as well as those from sub-Sahara regions.
(Xinhua News Agency April 3, 2006)