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Seven bodies of migrants found on Algeria coast

Algerian ports witness an upsurge in attempted illegal crossings of the Mediterranean in recent weeks
The body of a migrant recovered from a similar incident on the Tunisian coast (AFP/FILE)

The bodies of seven people washed up on an Algerian beach on Saturday and are thought to have been migrants who were trying to reach Europe. 

The bodies of the three men and four women had started decomposing and their identities were not immediately clear, the emergency services said.

Winds of up to 70kmh had swept the seas off the northwestern port city of Mostaganem in recent days.

According to lawyer Kouceila Zerguine, who acts for migrant families, there has been an upsurge in attempted illegal crossings of the Mediterranean from Algerian ports in recent weeks, particularly from Annaba, in the northeast.

According to the most recent report from EU border control agency Frontex, more than 37,000 migrants crossed the western Mediterranean in the first five months of 2020, around half of them Algerians.

A pick-up truck loaded with migrants from sub-Saharan Africa flipped over in southern Algeria on Thursday, killing 20 people, including the Algerian driver, and injuring 11. 

The crash took place near the town of Tamanrasset, a key transit town for migrants near borders with Mali and Niger.