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Three dead, 13 missing after shipwreck off France's Mayotte

10 october 2012, 12:09
0
Mayotte. ©REUTERS
Mayotte. ©REUTERS
Three people were dead and 13 missing Monday after a boat carrying illegal immigrants capsized in the Indian Ocean off the French overseas territory of Mayotte, AFP reports citing the local prefect's office.

Eight others survived the accident on the boat, which had departed from the Comoran island of Anjouan, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Mayotte.

The boat capsized 300 metres (yards) off the coast and the search was continuing for other potential survivors, the office said.

Such accidents are common in the area, with several in the last few months including a shipwreck on September 8 that left six dead and 27 others missing and one in July in which seven people died and four went missing.

Mayotte is part of the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Comoros. While the three other islands chose independence from France in 1975, it opted to remain under French rule.

Many Comorans hoping to find work or medical care in Mayotte board rickety fishing boats to attempt the risky voyage, often foundering on coral reefs.

Some two-fifths of Mayotte's 200,000 inhabitants are thought to be illegal immigrants.

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