April 12, 2017 / 11:45 AM / 4 months ago

Three killed after migrant boat sinks off coast of Spain

MADRID (Reuters) - Three migrants from sub-Saharan Africa were killed when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean but the Spanish navy managed to rescue another 30 people in the group, a coast guard spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

The navy went to rescue the migrants after their dinghy sank on Tuesday near the island of Alboran, halfway between Spain's southern coast and its North African enclave of Melilla.

A 10 year-old girl and an older woman died on Tuesday, and police divers found the body of a man, whose age is unknown, near the scene of the sinking on Wednesday morning.

"They are from sub-Saharan Africa, but we do not know which country," the spokeswoman said.

Another woman was airlifted to hospital in the southern coastal town of Almeria, where the survivors arrived late on Tuesday.

The coast guard saved another nine migrants, all sub-Saharan African men apparently in good health, from a small boat about 10.5 miles (17 km) from the town of Tarifa on Spain's southernmost tip on Wednesday.

One thousand migrants arrived in Spain from North Africa between Jan. 1 and April 9, and 47 died in the attempt during that time, the International Organization for Migration says.

Reporting by Isla Binnie and Maria Vega Paul; Editing by Keith Weir

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