Bamako: Twelve African nationals trying to illegally enter Europe have died from thirst and hunger in the Algerian desert, survivors of the failed journey who returned to northern Mali said on Sunday.
"We left the (Malian) town of Kidal. We made our way (illegally) into Algeria. Between the Algerian border and the town of Tamanrasset the truck broke down," said Ahmed, a well-known transporter of clandestine migrants, who was driving.
"We ran out of water, and food. Twelve people died. Only myself and one passenger survived."
Etienne, a former student who said he was trying his luck to reach Europe, said there were three Cameroonians, three Malians, two Ivorians, two Senegalese, a Gambian and a Guinean among the dead.
The route linking northern Mali and Algeria is popular with those migrants trying to reach Europe, mainly illegally.