Harare, Nov 16 (AP/UNB) — Fire swept through a passenger bus in Zimbabwe, and police said Friday that more than 40 people died and at least 20 were injured, some with severe burns.
Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said she did not have details about the cause of the accident on Thursday night.
A photograph posted on Twitter by the Zimbabwe Red Cross shows the remains of a bus that was completely incinerated. The Red Cross said its teams responded to a "horrific accident" involving a bus heading to neighboring South Africa at around midnight.
The accident happened in Gwanda district, about 550 kilometers (340 miles) south of Harare, Zimbabwe's capital.
Last week, a collision between two buses in Zimbabwe killed 50 people and injured about 80.
Mogadishu, Nov 9(AP/UNB) — Four car bombs by Islamic extremists exploded outside a hotel in the capital, Mogadishu, killing at least 20 people and injuring 17, said police.
After the three explosions in front of the hotel, a fourth blast hit as medics attempted to rescue the injured.
The suicide bombs detonated near the perimeter wall of the Sahafi Hotel, which is located across the street from the Somali Police Force's Criminal Investigations Department, said Capt. Mohamed Hussein.
Some of the victims were burned beyond recognition when one car bomb exploded next to a minibus, he said.
Somali security forces shot dead four gunmen who tried to storm through a hole blown into the hotel's wall but did not succeed in entering, he said.
"Although they failed to access the hotel, the blasts outside the hotel killed many people," said Hussein.
"The street was crowded with people and cars, bodies were everywhere," said Hussein Nur, a shopkeeper who suffered light shrapnel injuries on his right hand. "Gunfire killed several people, too."
Somalia's Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the bombs, according to the group's Adalus radio station.
Among the dead was the manager of the Sahafi Hotel, whose father was the owner of the hotel before he was killed in an al-Shabab attack on establishment in 2015, said police Capt. Hussein.
Santiago, Nov 8 (AP/UNB) — Chile has flown 176 Haitians on a voluntary return to their home country as part of a program to reduce the number of unsuccessful migrants in the country.
The Chilean Air Force flight is the first of several planned. So far, 1,087 Haitians have signed up for the free return.
Interior Ministry Undersecretary Rodrigo Ubilla says about 150,000 Haitians came to Chile during the 2014-2018 term of former President Michelle Bachelet — a number he said was too many for the economy of Chile, a country of some 18 million people.
New center-right President Sebastian Pinera has tightened visa and other requirements.
Some of the Haitians returning Wednesday said they had been unable to find work, struggled with Spanish or disliked the cold Chilean winter.
Uganda, Nov 7 (AP/UNB) — Uganda has started vaccinating health workers against Ebola in a border district near the outbreak in Congo.
The vaccinations began on Wednesday and are part of a wider Ebola prevention plan in a country that has faced multiple Ebola outbreaks since 2000.
In recent months Ebola cases have been confirmed near the heavily traveled border between Uganda and Congo, where an outbreak in that country's northeast has killed 189 people.
The Ebola virus is spread through the fluids of infected people.
Anthony Mbonye, a professor of health sciences at Uganda's Makerere University, said the vaccinations are crucial to stemming transmission "in a highly endemic belt for hemorrhagic fevers."
Ugandan officials say twice-weekly market days during which 10,000 Congolese cross into Uganda have put the country at high risk.
Johannesburg, Nov 2 (AP/UNB) — As migration rises worldwide, so has its toll: The tens of thousands of people who die or simply disappear during their journeys. Barely counted in life, these migrants rarely register in death — almost as if they never lived at all.
A growing number of migrants have drowned, died in deserts or fallen prey to traffickers, leaving their families to wonder what on earth happened to them. At the same time, anonymous bodies are filling cemeteries in South Africa's Gauteng province , or in the coastal Tunisian town of Zarzis. Similar cemeteries dot Italy, Greece and Libya.
An Associated Press tally has documented more than 56,800 migrants dead or missing worldwide since 2014 — almost double the number found in the world's only official attempt to try to count them, by the U.N.'s International Organization for Migration . The IOM toll as of Oct. 1 was more than 28,500. The AP came up with almost 28,300 additional dead or missing migrants by compiling information from other international groups, forensic records, missing persons reports, death records, and examining data from thousands of interviews with migrants.
The AP's tally is also certainly an undercount. Bodies lie undiscovered in desert sands or at the bottom of the sea. And families don't always report loved ones as missing because they migrated illegally, or because they left home without saying exactly where they were headed.
Instead, families are caught between hope and mourning, like that of Safi al-Bahri. Her son, Majdi Barhoumi, left their hometown of Ras Jebel, Tunisia, on May 7, 2011 for Europe in a small boat with a dozen other migrants. The boat sank and Barhoumi hasn't been heard from since. In a sign of faith that he is alive, his mother and father built an animal pen with a brood of hens, a few cows and a dog to stand watch until he returns.
"I just wait for him. I always imagine him behind me, at home, in the market, everywhere," said al-Bahri. "When I hear a voice at night, I think he's come back. When I hear the sound of a motorcycle, I think my son is back."
The official U.N. toll extensively documents deaths in the Mediterranean and Europe, but even there cases fall through the cracks. The political tide is turning against migrants in Europe just as in the United States , where the government is cracking down heavily on caravans of Central Americans trying to get in. One result is that money is drying up for projects to track migration and its costs.
For example, when more than 800 people died in an April 2015 shipwreck off the coast of Italy, Europe's deadliest migrant sea disaster, Italian investigators pledged to identify them and find their families. More than three years later, under a new populist government, funding for this work has been cut off.
Beyond Europe , information is even more scarce. Even in the U.S., where migration has turned into a hot-button issue, there is no routine effort to figure out where migrants may disappear or die, nor a policy on identifying bodies and notifying families. And little is known about the toll in South America, where the Venezuelan migration is among the world's biggest today, and in Asia , the top region for numbers of migrants.
The result is that governments vastly underestimate the true toll of migration, a major political and social issue in most of the world today.
"No matter where you stand on the whole migration management debate ... these are still human beings on the move," said Bram Frouws, the head of the Mixed Migration Centre, which has done surveys of more than 20,000 migrants in its 4Mi project since 2014. "Whether it's refugees or people moving for jobs, they are human beings."
The missing include children, although once again the scant data is only in Europe. Some 2,773 children have been reported to the Red Cross as missing en route to Europe, and 2,097 adults reported missing by children.
Almass and his brother, both migrants from Khost, Afghanistan, are not on the list. He was just 14 when his widowed mother reluctantly sent him and his 11-year-old brother from their home into the unknown. The payment for their trip was supposed to get them away from the Taliban and all the way to Germany via a chain of smugglers.
But when the Iranian border police fired on their group, Almass lost hold of his brother's hand and went unconscious as he tumbled down a ravine. He never saw his brother again. When he next spoke to his mother, he couldn't bring himself to tell her; instead, he lied that his brother couldn't come to the phone but sent his love.
The family phone number in Afghanistan no longer works, their village is overrun with Taliban, and he has no idea how to find them — or the child whose hand slipped from his grasp four years ago.
"I don't know now where they are," he said, his face anguished as he sat on a sun-dappled bench in rural France. "They also don't know where I am."