France says mostly Kurds from Kurdistan dead in Channel tragedy

A life jacket is left after a group of migrants got on an inflatable dinghy, to leave the coast of northern France and to cross the English Channel, near Wimereux, France, November 24, 2021. (Reuters photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — French authorities have formally identified 26 out of 27 migrants who drowned last month in a Channel boat accident, with most of them people from the Kurdistan Region, they said on Tuesday.

Paris prosecutor said in a statement that there were 17 men among the deceased aged 19-26, seven women aged 22-46, as well as a 16-year-old teenager and a child aged seven, according to AFP.

Sixteen of the victims were people from the Kurdistan Region, four were Afghan men, France 24 reported. There were three Ethiopians, a Somalian woman, an Iranian and an Egyptian man.

The Summit Foundation for Refugees and Displaced Affairs released names of the Kurdish migrants on Tuesday, saying there were 17 Kurds among the deceased, including one from Iran’s Sardasht.

Two other migrants from the Kurdistan Region have gone missing, it added.

French investigators are still trying to establish a clearer picture of what happened during the disaster, AFP reported.

They are investigating reports the passengers had telephoned both French and British emergency services, appealing for help when the vessel began sinking, the news agency said.

The accident was the most deadly involving a migrant boat in the Channel and cast a spotlight on the increasing number of desperate people seeking to cross the narrow waterway between France and England.

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