51 migrants feared dead in Sahara, IOM says

Another 2,000 saved off Libya, 10,000 in Italy in 4 days

27 June, 20:07

    ROME - Fifty-one migrants are feared to have died after being abandoned days ago by human traffickers in the Niger desert while on their way to Libya, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has said. On its website the IOM reports that 24 migrants from Gambia, Nigeria, Senegal and Ivory Coast alerted the authorities after being abandoned in the Sahara.

    Upon rescue they said they were part of a group of 75 people, the rest of whom are missing. IOM added that the 24 migrants rescued on Sunday had been travelling in a convoy of three vehicles. The area where they were found had been hit by sandstorms. Search and rescue operations will continue as soon as the situation returns to normal, IOM said.

    Roughly 600 migrants have been rescued in Niger since last April, IOM says.

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