Dozens of migrants die of thirst in Niger desert

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Niamey (Niger), June 16 (IANS/AKI) The bodies of 34 migrants, including 20 children, thought to have died of thirst have been found in the Sahara desert near the Niger’s border with Algeria, Niger’s Interior Minister Bazoum Mohammed announced on Twitter.

The migrants are believed to have died about a week ago, between June 6 and 12, after being abandoned by people traffickers near the border town of Assamakka, Mohammed said late on Wednesday.

The adult victims of the tragedy included nine women and five men. Only two – a Nigerian couple aged 26 – had been identified, he said.

Niger is one of the main transit countries for migrants hoping to reach Europe. Some 120,000 people crossed the country’s arid northern Agadez region last year, the International Organisation for Migration said.

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