Dozens of young Senegalese drown

Dakar (AFP) –


Forty children and young people have drowned in the past two months while swimming on beaches in the Senegalese capital of Dakar, firefighters said on Wednesday.

Fifteen people drowned on Monday and Tuesday alone.

"This is a first," said fire brigade chief Papa Ange Michel Diatta, adding that the victims were aged between seven and 23 years.

The dozens of deaths that have occurred since the start of June occurred on beaches where swimming is forbidden in the West African capital's suburbs, Diatta added.

Swimming is banned on many beaches "because of waves, quicksands, rocks, and lack of access for firemen" but people had ignored the rules, he said.

The toll is higher than in previous years.