TWO men were arrested for their alleged roles in the deaths of more than 20 migrants including a five-year-old girl who perished last month while trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean to the Canary Islands, police said.

The migrants spent 13 days adrift before rescuers reached the boat in the sea on June 30 and found 29 survivors.

Police detained the alleged human trafficker and the captain of the boat, who were also onboard.

Between 52 and 60 people had boarded the boat in Dakhla, a coastal town in Western Sahara. 

The five-year-old girl died whilst being airlifted by rescue helicopter to a hospital in the Canary Islands.

The two men were arrested on charges of homicide and abetting unauthorized immigration.

Since 2019, there has been a boom in migrants trying to seek a new life in Europe by risking all and travelling in boats from Western Africa to the Canary Islands. 

More than 6,900 migrants have arrived in the archipelago so far this year, compared with 2,700 in the same period in 2020, according to Spanish government figures. 


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