Senegalese navy stops two migrant boats carrying 272 people

DAKAR (Reuters) - The Senegalese Navy said it had intercepted two wooden boats carrying 272 would-be migrants 100 km (60 miles) off the coast of the capital Dakar on Friday.

Seven children and 16 women were among the passengers who were taken back to a navy base in Dakar, it said in an online post on Saturday.

It shared a photo of a brightly painted fishing vessel on the open ocean, overloaded with people with no shelter from the elements.

Thousands of migrants brave the hundreds of miles of ocean separating Africa from Europe each year in a desperate search for a better life. Summer is the busiest period for crossings.

At least 559 people died attempting to reach the Canary Islands in 2022, while 126 people died or went missing on the same route in the first six months of this year with 15 shipwrecks recorded, according to the International Organization for Migration.

In August, only 37 survived after a migrant boat carrying 101 people from Senegal had been adrift in the ocean without fuel for weeks.

(Reporting by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Giles Elgood)

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