Six African migrants including 4 children were found dead in the south-western Tunisian Sahara desert.
A Tunisian official, who confirmed the development to AFP on Thursday, August 12, said the bodies were found on Wednesday night, just two kilometers from the Algerian border, near the Tunisian town of Tozeur.
The Italian news agency ANSA reported that their bodies were found by border guards patrolling the area.
One migrant from the group survived because he went to find water but got lost along the way and didn’t make it back to the group.
The migrants said to be from Niger, are presumed to have “died of thirst and exhaustion”, said the Tunisian official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The family died amid the heat wave currently baking Tunisia and the entire Mediterannean region, the governor of Tozeur, Aymen Béjaoui told a local radio station.
In Tunisia, temperatures on Wednesday reached a record high of 50 C (122 F), according to the national weather service.
Meanwhile, Tunisian authorities have said recently that they are seeing an increase in migrants from African countries trying to cross the border from Algeria to Tunisia with the aim of reaching Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.
In recent weeks, Tunisian fishermen and naval authorities have retrieved scores of bodies of drowned migrants and rescued hundreds of others after multiple boats sank while trying to reach Europe.
In June 2021, the most recent figures, the UN refugee agency UNHCR, registered over 8,000 migrants in Tunisia.
The majority of those in the country are between 18 and 59 years of age, with children under four being the second most populous group.