72 Women, Kids Rescued in Sahara
Group was stranded when truck broke down
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2013 2:11 AM CST
Soldiers walk away from the freshly dug grave, after burying bodies of migrants who died of thirst when their the truck broke down in the Sahara Desert north of Arlit, Niger.    (AP Photo/Almoustapha Alhacen)

(Newser) – A delegation on its way to visit the burial place of 92 migrants who died of thirst in northern Niger saved 72 women and children from dying in the same unforgiving part of the Sahara. The group, 20 women and 52 children, were on their way back from Algeria when their truck broke down in the desert, officials tell AFP. The local governor sent vehicles to bring them to safety.

One of the rescued women says they had been surviving by begging in southern Algeria but apparently decided to return to their homeland after hearing about the horrible deaths of the other migrants. Niger, a major hub for economic migrants moving north from sub-Saharan Africa, has been trying to crack down on illegal border-crossing since last month's tragedy and has closed several migrant camps, Al Jazeera reports.