Monday, May 14, 2007

Migrants land on Canary Islands

Migrants land on Canary Islands
Migrants in the Canaries on Friday 11 May 2007
At least 800 migrants have arrived in the Canaries since Thursday
Hundreds of African migrants landed on Spain's Canary Islands on Monday, bringing to at least 800 the number who have landed there since Thursday.

The Spanish Interior Ministry says the immigrants, mostly young men from Gambia, Guinea and Senegal, arrived in five boats.

Last year, more than 30,000 illegal immigrants landed on the islands.

In recent months, the number making the journey from Africa has fallen sharply compared to the same time last year.

Lack of patrols

The recent increase in the numbers making it to the Canaries has been attributed to calm seas, warm weather and the fact the European Union's external borders agency Frontex is not patrolling between the islands and Africa's west coast.

Two of the boats were carrying 103 people each, Spanish interior ministry spokeswoman Candelaria Cedallos told the Associated Press.

The migrants included 30 children, she said.

Passengers on one of the vessels told the AFP news agency they had travelled for four or five days and had not eaten anything for the last two days.