Five migrants die attempting Channel crossing: French police source

Five migrants die attempting Channel crossing: French police source

PARIS, April 23 (NNN-AGENCIES) — At least five migrants, including a child, died overnight during an attempt to cross the Channel from France to Britain, a French police source said on Tuesday.

The source, who did not wish to be named, said the circumstances of their death around the beach in the town of Wimereux, close to the resort of Boulogne-sur-Mer, were not immediately clear.

It is just the latest such tragedy as migrants, many from the Middle East and Africa, attempt the perilous sea crossing for what they hope will be a better future in Britain.

On March 3, a seven-year-old girl drowned in the capsizing of an overcrowded migrant boat in the Aa canal, around 30 kilometres (19 miles) from France’s northern coast.

People attempting to reach Britain have increasingly been boarding boats on inland waterways to avoid stepped-up patrols on the French coast.

In late February, a 22-year-old Turkish man died and two more people went missing in the Channel off Calais.

In January, five people including a 14-year-old Syrian died in Wimereux as they waded through chilly seawater to reach a boat off the coast.

Twelve migrants lost their lives last year trying to cross the Channel, French authorities say.

British officials processed 5,373 migrants landing on the shores of southeast England in the first three months of this year after crossing the Channel in small vessels, the British interior ministry says.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government has been under mounting pressure to stem the number of crossings, particularly following a promise of a tougher approach to immigration after the United Kingdom left the European Union.

The news of the latest migrant deaths comes after controversial UK government plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda cleared a final hurdle in parliament on Monday.

The United Nations and Europe’s highest rights body have urged Britain to scrap the plan. — NNN-AGENCIES 


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