ALGERIA -- Stranded in the unforgiving expanses of Niger's Sahara desert after their vehicles broke down, dozens of people, almost all of them women and children, slowly died of thirst.
The migrants had been trying to reach Algeria, Azaoua Mahaman of the Synergie nongovernmental organization said Thursday.
Instead, they died of dehydration, unable to escape the sandy wastes of the Sahel.
When found, many of the bodies were severely decomposed and appeared to have been partially eaten by animals.
The travelers were hoping to find a better life for themselves in Algeria, trying to escape the extreme poverty and economic hardships in Niger, said Mahaman.
Their story is the latest tragedy to befall migrants trying to leave behind a woeful existence for opportunities elsewhere.
Others who have survived the arduous journey from sub-Saharan Africa to the continent's northern shores have drowned as they tried to cross the Mediterranean in overcrowded boats, with Europe in their sights.
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