13 migrants found dead in Sahara Desert

2014-05-11 18:55

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Algiers - Thirteen African migrants have been found dead in the Algerian desert and 33 others from a group that was being smuggled across the Sahara are missing and feared dead, Algerian media reported on Sunday.

The reports quoted security sources in Niger, Algeria's neighbour to the south, as saying the bodies of the 13 victims were found close to Niger's border on Friday.

Security forces from both Algeria and Nigeria were searching for the remainder of the group, which was said to comprise mostly women and children.

Their chances of survival in the desert were seen as slim.

El Watan newspaper reported that the migrants were from Niger, and that they were trying to join relatives who had settled in the Algerian region of Tamanrasset.

There was no official confirmation of their nationality.

Niger is both a source of illegal migrants and a destination for refugees fleeing unrest in other sub-Saharan countries such as Mali and Nigeria.

Algeria used to be a country of transit for migrants trying to reach Europe, but as Europe tightens its borders more and more of the migrants are choosing to remain in the North African country.

The Sahara Desert has claimed the lives of scores of migrants in recent months.

In October, the bodies of 92 mostly women and children, who died of thirst after their vehicle broke down, were found in the desert in northern Niger. The group, which was from Niger, was trying to reach Algeria.

- SAPA
Read more on:    algeria  |  niger  |  north africa
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