Ten Somali nationals said to be illegal immigrants have suffocated in a heavy-duty truck they were traveling in along Mikumi-Iringa highway and their bodies dumped in Ruaha River.
Reports of the dumped bodies were confirmed yesterday by Morogoro Regional Police Commander, Adolphina Chialo, who said the incident occurred on December 30, last year.
“The ten Somali nationals who were found dead on December 30, last year, were heading to South Africa,” she said.
The latest incident brings the number of deaths of Somali nationals to 20, in a span of one week.
According to the regional police chief, Good Samaritans tipped off the police about the dumped Somali nationals, noting that eight of them were men and two women.
The Morogoro RPC said police were tracing the truck driver, adding that the bodies of the deceased had no injuries.
Recently, according to the RPC, ten Somali nationals were reported to have been found dead in separate incidents in Mikese, Melela, Ihovi and Mikumi areas.
Commander Chialo said there was a growing of racket of people transporting Somali nationals in containers, which are used for cargo and petroleum products, putting their lives at great risk.
She said police investigations have established that most of the Somali nationals preferred to use petroleum trucks, saying they felt ‘safe’.
However, some of the Somalis who surrendered to the police, managed to identify the bodies of their colleagues, saying they were dumped on the road after the owner of the lorry discovered that they were in a critical condition.