The Algerian coastguard recovered four bodies from the Mediterranean Sea and rescued 13 migrants after a boat capsized in its waters, the defense ministry said on Sunday.
“Algerian coastguards and a rescue helicopter … saved 13 illegal migrants and recovered the bodies of four other migrants who drowned after their boat capsized 16 nautical miles north” of the capital Algiers, the ministry said in a statement.
The statement did not specify the nationalities of those who died, but many young Algerians attempt the highly risky illicit crossing of the Mediterranean, often making for Spain.
A total of 4,704 Algerians have been intercepted at sea so far this year.
Algeria in 2009 ratified a law punishing illegal migration by up to six months in prison, but the legislation has failed to deter young people from attempting the dangerous crossings.