Stowaways found critical in container in Mozambique

April 9th, 2008 - 11:39 pm ICT by admin  

Maputo, April 9 (DPA) Police in Mozambique Wednesday reported the discovery of 155 illegal immigrants hiding inside a container on the back of a truck, one of whom had died and around 50 of whom were in critical condition after going without food, water or air. The migrants, from Ethiopia and Somalia, were discovered in central Tete province Sunday inside a cargo container on the back of a truck that had crossed from neighbouring Malawi, police spokesman Pedro Cossa said.

Alarm was raised when the truck, which was heading for Beira port, was stopped by police for a routine inspection. Police heard people crying for help, saying they were suffocating.

The driver drove off and was chased by the police, who caught up with the vehicle near Tete city. The driver fled.

Most of the stowaways were youths, the police said. All were complaining of hunger, suffocation and thirst and were taken to hospital.

Police said they suspected the migrants had fled a camp in Malawi where refugees from conflicts in the Horn of Africa are held.

This is the second group of illegal migrants arriving from Malawi found in under a week. Last Friday, 98 people were intercepted in the same region and deported back to Malawi.

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