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Five die attempting Channel crossing, say French police

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Five die attempting Channel crossing, say French police
The shoreline in Wimereux, northern France. Photo by Denis CHARLET / AFP

At least five people, including a child, died overnight during an attempt to cross the Channel from France to Britain, a French police source said on Tuesday.

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The source, who did not wish to be named, said the circumstances of their death around the beach in the town of Wimereux, close to the resort of Boulogne-sur-Mer, were not immediately clear.

It is just the latest such tragedy as people, many from the Middle East and Africa, attempt the perilous sea crossing in the hope of reaching Britain.

On March 3rd, a seven-year-old girl drowned in the capsizing of an overcrowded migrant boat in the Aa canal, around 30 kilometres from France's northern coast.

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People attempting to reach Britain have increasingly been boarding boats on inland waterways to avoid stepped-up patrols on the French coast.

In late February, a 22-year-old Turkish man died and two more people went missing in the Channel off Calais.

In January, five people including a 14-year-old Syrian died in Wimereux as they waded through chilly seawater to reach a boat off the coast.

Twelve people lost their lives last year trying to cross the Channel, French authorities say.

British officials processed 5,373 arrivals landing on the shores of southeast England in the first three months of this year after crossing the Channel in small vessels, the British interior ministry says.

The news of the latest migrant deaths comes after controversial UK government plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda cleared a final hurdle in parliament on Monday.

The United Nations and Europe's highest rights body have urged Britain to scrap the plan.

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