12 Syrian migrants found dead in Algerian desert

12 Syrian migrants found dead in Algerian desert

On July 8th, an official from the Syrian embassy announced that 12 Syrian migrants had been found dead in the southern desert province of Illizi, Algeria. The New Arab and agencies reported that five more remain missing.

Bassem Farrouk, head of irregular migration at the Syrian embassy in Algeria, stated that search efforts are ongoing to find the missing. The victims are reported to have left Libya on July 2nd and were found dead six days later, having been lost in the desert.

The deceased were found by the Algerian Relief Association for Search and Rescue. The casualties consisted of 2 Algerians and 12 Syrians, including a 10-year-old and a 16-year-old.

READ: Libya repatriates 174 irregular migrants to Nigeria

Farroukh blamed the deaths on Libyan authorities, whom he claimed expelled the migrants by pushing them to Algeria. “We will see other Syrians leaving Libya in the same manner towards Algeria and I am afraid we must prepare ourselves for more disasters,” he said.

In 2016, the Algerian army rescued 22 Syrians lost in the Algerian desert after leaving neighbouring Niger. Many refugees and migrants come to North Africa in hopes of reaching the south of Europe through the perilous Mediterranean sea route, the deadliest migration route in the world.

Since 2011, Syria has suffered from a destructive civil war resulting in 14 million Syrians being forced to flee from their home, according to UNHCR statistics. Northwest Syria was also devastated by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, resulting in further casualties and displacement.

The New Arab / Arab Weekly and agencies


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