African migrants take shelter under the bridge of a motorway on the outskirts of Algiers, Algeria June 28, 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
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Dozens of Africans say they were sold for labor and trapped in slavery in Algeria in what aid agencies fear may be a widening trend of abusing migrants headed for a new life in Europe.Amid a surge in anti-migrant sentiment, Algeria since late last year has sent thousands of migrants back over its southern border into Niger, according to the United Nations migration agency, IOM, where many tell stories of exploitation.The IOM in Algeria has received three reports this year from friends and relatives of African migrants held hostage and forced to work in the country.Amma said he had spoken with more than 75 migrants back from Algeria, the majority of whom described slavelike conditions.In 2016, the IOM surveyed about 6,300 migrants in Niger, most of whom had returned from Algeria and Libya. Sixty-five percent of those who had lived in Algeria said they had experienced violence and abuse, compared to 61 percent in Libya.An estimated 75,000 migrants live in Algeria, the IOM said.
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