87 Migrants Die Grisly Death After Car Breaks Down in the Sahara

Niger: migrants suffer grisly death on journey out of one of the poorest countries in the world.

Competitors cross the sandy Mziouda valley, on April 9, 2013, during the third stage of the 'Marathon des Sables', some 300 Kilometers, South of Ouarzazate in Morocco. The Desert Marathon is considered as the hardest in the World. (Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images)
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Dozens of women and children have fallen victim to the merciless elements of the Sahara desert. A search party of aid workers and soldiers discovered 87 bodies in the Niger's Sahara desert Wednesday.

The bodies were found in a state of partial decomposition, with some bodies having been partly eaten by animals.

CNN reports the bodies were discovered near broken down vehicles. Azaoua Mahaman, one of the aid workers that found the bodies, told CNN that the bodies belonged to migrants who were fleeing poverty stricken Niger in the hopes of finding a better life in Algeria. It appears they died due to lack of hydration and water.

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The vehicles the migrants had been traveling in are believed to have broken down at the end of September. Rescue workers at the scene told the BBC at least 10 individuals left the groups to get help back in the city of Arlit, the migrants' original outset.

Rescue workers and security officials searched for the migrant group only to find five bodies on Monday.

Two days later, and six miles from the Algerian border, soldiers found the rest of the bodies.

"We found bodies across a wide area. We had no idea what to expect because we didn't know how many people had been in the vehicles," rescue worker Almoustapha Alhacen said to BBC.

''What was shocking was that they were small. There was a dead woman holding her baby," Alhacen added.

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48 of the bodies found were children and teenagers, leading some to suspect that the children were being taken to Algeria to work in low paying jobs.

UN Director of the Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, John Ging, said this is a fairly common journey due to the poverty and drought that plagues the African nations.

"They are basically economic migrants. They are in search of work. They are so impoverished that they have to make these hazardous journeys," he told the BBC's Newsday program.

This is the latest tragedy in a line of recent disasters involving migrants looking for a better life, including the most recent where nearly 700 migrants were rescued from the Mediterranean Sea.

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