ALGIERS, April 29 (Xinhua) -- As many as 15 African illegal migrants died on Sunday after their boat sank off Algerian western coast, local media reported.
Algeria Press Service said Algerian coast guards rescued 19 people out of 34, all from African origins, as their boat sank off Cape Falcon in the province of Oran, 400 km west of Algiers.
The bad weather could be the cause of the tragedy, the source noted, adding that coast guards are still searching for other bodies.
According to Ennahar TV channel, the boat departed from Morocco heading to Europe, and was driven to Algerian coast due to strong winds.
Many local and foreign youngsters try to illegally reach the Spanish shores from the western coast of Algeria, with most of the attempts failed.
Algeria is seen as a passage to Europe by African illegal migrants. Interior Minister Noureddine Bedoui said recently that 500 attempts of sub-Saharan migrants to enter Algeria illegally are being foiled everyday by army troops deployed on the southern border.
The North African nation has also sent back some 27,000 illegal migrants in the last three years amid criticism from NGOs which accuse Algiers of mistreatment of these migrants.