Thirty-four migrants, including 20 children, have been found dead in Niger’s desert after they were abandoned by their smugglers.
The government of the Niger said this in a statement read on national television on Wednesday.
Agadez in the landlocked country’s arid north is a popular way station for migrants attempting to traverse the Sahara Desert and reach Libya and eventually Europe.
Interior Minister, Bazoum Mohammed, said of the adult migrants, nine were women and five were men. They died between June 6-12.
He added that President Mahamadou Issoufou expressed his condolences to their families.
He also disclosed that two of the victims were identified as citizens of Nigerian, adding that the nationalities of the other victims were not immediately clear.
The International Organisation for Migration estimates that 120,000 people crossed through Agadez last year. IOM also recorded 37 migrants died in the desert last year.