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Survivor found ‘gasping for life’ among bodies of 27 men dumped on Zambian roadside | CNN


Zambia’s police service says it is investigating the deaths of 27 men, believed to be ethiopian citizens, whose bodies were found “dumped” on the roadside near the capital Lusaka on Sunday.

Police spokesman Danny Mwale said in a statement that a total of 28 victims were found abandoned along the Chiminuka road in the Ngwerere area of ​​Lusaka.

Only one of the men, who ranged in age from 20 to 38, survived, Mwale said.

“Of the 28 people, one was found gasping for life,” the police statement said, adding that the 27 bodies had been transferred to a Lusaka morgue “pending formal identification and autopsy.”

The sole survivor was taken to a hospital for treatment, police said.

Ethiopians are taking increasingly desperate measures to escape Africa’s second most populous country, which has been mired in civil war for the past two years.

Some Ethiopians are lured with promises of job opportunities in South Africa but end up being held in appalling conditions, according to immigration officials quoted by the Lusaka Times.

The latest discovery comes less than two months after police in neighboring Malawi found a mass grave containing the remains of 25 Ethiopians in the Mzimba district of northern Malawi.

Four more bodies of Ethiopian nationals were found “in a state of decomposition” a day later near the mass grave site in Mzimba, Malawi police said at the time.

Like Malawi, which has become increasingly a popular route for smuggling syndicatesZambia has been described as “a country of transit and destination” for illegal immigrants from the Horn of Africa passing through the southern African country with the aim of reaching South Africa.

In July, Zambian immigration officials stopped more than 50 Ethiopians believed to have been smuggled into the country en route to South Africa.

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