JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- It's a long, arduous and well-worn route. Hopeful Africans travel north through Niger, Mali and Algeria, crossing the Sahara desert to reach Europe, find work and send money home to their families.
The exodus often goes nightmarishly wrong for the migrants. They must trust their lives to unscrupulous smugglers. If someone hasn't been paid along the route, they are sometimes abandoned by their driver. If a vehicle breaks down in the desert, there is no guarantee that help will ever come.
In the latest tragedy involving African migrants, 92 bodies were found in the desert of Niger, according to a humanitarian worker, after their two trucks broke down near the Algerian border.
The bodies were strewn across the desert, found where they fell in their death march to try to reach help. Most were women and children.
The whereabouts of their drivers was not known, according to authorities.
"It was horrific," Almoustapha Alhacen, a rescuer from a humanitarian organization, told the Associated Press. "We found the bodies of small children who were huddled beside their dead mothers."