The bodies of at least 34 refugees abandoned by people smugglers and left to die of thirst have been found in the Niger desert.
According to a statement issued by the country’s Interior Ministry, the refugees including 20 children died while trying to cross the desert into neighbouring Algeria between June 6 and June 12.
“Thirty-four people, including five men, nine women and 20 children died trying to cross the desert,” a statement from the ministry read.
“[They] were abandoned by people smugglers.”
The statement said that only two of the bodies have so far been identified: a man and a 26-year-old woman, both from Niger.