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AP, April 4, 2009

62 Afghan Migrants Found Dead Inside Truck in Pakistan

The truck carrying the container had been left at a truck stop on the outskirts of the city of Quetta and police had been alerted after passers-by heard cries for help

At least 62 people suffocated to death in the back of a truck packed with illegal migrants, and dozens were rescued unconscious after Pakistani police acting on a tip opened the vehicle Saturday near the Afghan border.

at least 62 Afghans killed in the container.
Pakistani medial staff cover the dead bodies of illegal migrants at a local hospital in Quetta, Pakistan on Saturday, April 4, 2009. (AP Photos)

Rasool Bakhsh, a senior police official in the city of Quetta, said the shipping container the truck was carrying entered Pakistan from Afghanistan and was headed for Iran. He said most of the victims were Afghans.

More than 100 people were packed inside the 40-foot-long (12-meter-long) metal container, Bakhsh said. He said survivors were rushed to the hospital, many of them unconscious.

Khalid Masood, another senior officer, said a total of 62 were pronounced dead.

Television footage shot shortly after the white container was opened showed dozens of bodies, many of them stripped to the waist, lined up on the road next to the truck.

The stench from the container suggested some might have been dead for days, Bakhsh said.

Officials said they were holding the truck's driver as part of their investigation.

Southwestern Pakistan lies on a well-trodden route for traffickers smuggling young men from poverty-afflicted countries including Afghanistan and Pakistan hoping to find work and prosperity in Europe and elsewhere.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Category: Refugees/IDPs - Views: 14740