Turkey's Van province after a snowfall on February 8, 2020 | Photo: Picture-alliance/Ozkan Bilgin/Anadolu Agency
Turkey's Van province after a snowfall on February 8, 2020 | Photo: Picture-alliance/Ozkan Bilgin/Anadolu Agency

Thirteen migrants have died in a snowstorm in eastern Turkey while trying to cross the border from Iran. Local media said ten Afghans were among the dead.

According to the dpa news agency, a group of migrants were crossing the mountains in the Caldiran district on Turkey's eastern border with Iran when a snowstorm hit, trapping the group on the mountain. Thirteen people froze to death, the human rights organization of Van province in Turkey tweeted.

The governor of Van province, Mehmet Emin Bilmez, told the Turkish news agency Anadolu that he had been notified that 13 people had died after crossing the border "illegally", dpa reports. The weather conditions had prevented the emergency services from reaching the area, he said.

The migrants' nationalities were not confirmed, but local media reported that 10 came from Afghanistan and three from Kobane, a town on the border between Turkey and Syria.

The pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya news website published a photo on Sunday apparently of three of the victims lying in the snow. They are wearing jeans and sneakers. 

A growing number of Afghans have lost their lives while attempting to cross the mountainous border into eastern Turkey. In 2019, the Missing Migrants Project of the IOM recorded 32 deaths of migrants in Van Province due to hypothermia, 21 in vehicle accidents and 7 due to drowning.

•••• ➤ Also read: A graveyard for unnamed Afghans in Turkey

 

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