HUMAN sacrifice has been added to the dangers facing desperate people from Africa trying to escape to Europe, with Spanish authorities investigating claims that migrants were tossed overboard during a recent voyage to the Canary Islands. 

Survivors of a boat carry 48 migrants told police that a total of five people had died during the journey. 

Canary Islands rescue service recovered only one body when the boat was detected some 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of the archipelago on Monday night. 

The Canary Islands have become the main European destination for people fleeing North and West Africa. 

At its shortest, the sea crossing to the islands from the Moroccan coast is more than 100 kilometers (60 miles), but it is a notoriously dangerous route because of strong currents, while vessels are typically overcrowded and in poor condition.

Last year 1,851 people died on route, according to the Caminando Fronteras organisation which monitors migrant flows.

Since January a total of 2,341 migrants landed on the Spanish islands in January and February, an increase of 112 percent on the same period in 2019, when the number stood at 1,103. 

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