Niger
34 migrants, including 20 children, die of 'thirst' in Sahara Desert on way to Algeria Pictured: A mother clutches her daughter's hand at a campaign rally for incarcerated presidential candidate Hama Amadou in Niamey, Niger, Feb. 19, 2016.Reuters

At least 20 children, along with 14 others, were found dead last week in the Niger desert after they were abandoned by people smugglers. The group reportedly died of thirst.

Between June 6 and 12, a group of 34 people tried to reach Algeria from Niger through the desert, but was unsuccessful.

"Thirty-four people, including five men, nine women and 20 children, died trying to cross the desert," a statement from the interior ministry of Niger read, according to Al Jazeera. "[They] were abandoned by people smugglers."

"They probably died of thirst, as is often the case, and they were found near Assamaka," a security source was quoted as saying by Agence France-Presse.

Temperatures in the Niger Desert cross 42 degree Celsius and travelling in extreme conditions is humanly impossible, leading to deaths of many who attempt it. The region also experiences sandstorms because of which only few who perish in the heat are found.

Two people among the party of 34 have been identified. The nationalities of others are not known yet.

Militant group Boko Haram is one of the reasons Niger's population has been fleeing. 

Migrants from sub-Saharan countries earlier sought refuge in Libya. However, ever since conflict began in Libya after Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and the Islamic State group (ISIS) conquered parts of the country refugees have been travelling to Algeria.

Algeria, too, is a destination they aspire to reach to finally arrive in Europe.

The continent received thousands of migrants in the last two years, leading to a humanitarian crisis.

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