Boat capsizing in Channel: 26 dead migrants identified

International

A migrants makeshift camp is set up in Calais, northern France, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. At the makeshift camps outside Calais, migrants are digging in, waiting for the chance to make a dash across the English Channel despite the news that at least 27 people died this week when their boat sank a few miles from the French coast. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)

PARIS (AP) — The Paris prosecutor said 26 migrants have been formally identified, including seven women, a teenager and a 7-year-old girl, in the tragic capsizing last month of a boat in the English Channel that cost the lives of at least 27 people trying to reach Britain.

The identity of one migrant remains unknown, Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau said in a statement Tuesday.

Investigators were able to confirm the identity of 16 Iraqi Kurds, including four women, a 16-year-old teenager and a 7-year-old girl. Amid victims were also an Iranian Kurd, three Ethiopians including two women, a Somali woman, four Afghan men and an Egyptian man, the statement said. The adults ranged in age from 19 to 46.

Their boat capsized on Nov. 24 off the coast of northern France, in what the country’s interior minister called the biggest migration tragedy on the dangerous crossing to Britain to date.

Ever-increasing numbers of people fleeing conflicts or poverty in Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq, Eritrea or elsewhere are risking the perilous journey from France, hoping to win asylum or find better opportunities in Britain.

The crossings have tripled this year compared to 2020.

The tragedy prompted a new political crisis between Britain and France, who each accused each other of not doing enough to deter people from crossing the Channel. European migration officials agreed to dispatch a plane to monitor the shores of the English Channel for migrant activity. They also pledged to work together more closely against migrant smuggling networks.

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