Belgian authorities discover body of drowned Iraqi migrant
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Authorities in Belgium recently discovered the body of an Iraqi man who they said had attempted to swim across the Channel from France to the United Kingdom.
The body was clad in a homemade life jacket made from empty plastic bottles. Documents inside a small bag attached to the body were used to identify the victim as a 48-year-old Iraqi.
The prosecutor’s office in Bruges has not revealed the man’s name. He was discovered near the seaside resort of Zeebrugge on Friday.
“It’s the first time we’ve found the body of a migrant,” Carl Decaluwe, the governor of western Flanders province where Zeebrugge is located, told AFP on Monday.
According to local media, officials said the man had drowned while he attempted to swim from a beach in northern France to Britain. The currents might have carried his lifeless body to Belgian waters.
The Iraqi failed to obtain asylum in Germany and was trying to do so elsewhere in Europe, AFP reported.
Since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria in 2011 and the emergence of the so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, many people have risked their lives to seek refuge abroad, mainly in Europe.
According to recent statistics French officials revealed on Monday, nearly 1,450 migrants were rescued by British or French coastguards since January 2019—more than doubling last year’s number.