Bodies of seven migrants and child found off Spanish coast

Victims thought be from boats that had set off from Morocco or Algeria

Sub-Saharan migrants rest on arrival at La Restinga port in El Hierro, the Canary Islands, on Monday. EPA
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The bodies of eight migrants, including three women and a child, have washed up on the shores of southern Spain over the past two days, authorities said on Tuesday.

"Between Sunday and Tuesday morning, eight bodies were found along the shore ... who came from one or more boats," the Almeria authorities said.

They said the bodies were found along a 20-kilometre stretch of coastline and the Guardia Civil police were investigating.

The boats had probably set off from Morocco or Algeria, a journey of at least 200 kilometres across the Western Mediterranean, in the hope of reaching Europe.

So far this year, 10,701 migrants have reached the southern coast of mainland Spain or the Balearic Islands by sea, an increase of 1,680 on the same period last year, Interior Ministry figures to September 14 show.

The International Organisation for Migration says at least 238 have died en route since the start of the year.

Meanwhile, a total of 11,060 migrants have reached Spain's Canary Islands from the coast of West Africa, compared to the 5,090 who arrived in the same period last year.

Caminando Fronteras, a Spanish group that monitors SOS calls from migrants at sea, says more than 2,000 people have died or gone missing on the Atlantic route this year.

Updated: September 21, 2021, 9:54 PM