'He's back to me in a coffin': Devastated families hold funerals for some who died in Channel crossing tragedy

Funerals have been held in Iraq today as the bodies of 16 of the Kurdish migrants who drowned last month when their dinghy capsized in the English Channel were repatriated.Despite the tragedy taking place on 24 November, the heartbroken families and friends of the people who died have been forced to waited weeks for their bodies to be identified and then released back to Iraqi Kurdistan. One of the funerals held on Sunday was for 24-year-old Baran Nouri Mohammedameen, who died trying to cross the Channel so she could be reunited with her fiancé who was waiting in England for her. Image: A month after the tragedy funerals are only now beginning to take place She had taken selfies of herself as she travelled on the dinghy, but hours later the flimsy boat sank. Of the 33 people on board, 27 were confirmed dead, two are missing and two rescued.Baran's funeral took place in the town of Soran, in northern Iraq, where she grew up. Advertisement Image: Baran Nuri Hamadamin had taken selfies of herself as she travelled on the dingy Alistair Bunkall, Sky News Middle Eastern Correspondent, said: “They all knew the journey they were taking was dangerous, but they all had a different reason for wanting to get to the UK. “But thousands before them had made it, and so they took the risk.” More on Iraq Related Topics: The plane carrying the bodies landed on early Sunday morning in the airport of Erbil, which is the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. Image: Family and friends were finally able to bury their loved ones after weeks of waiting Ambulances then took the coffins to the home towns of those who died.Shukriya Bakir, whose son was one of those who drowned, said: "The last time I heard my son's voice was when he got on board the boat."He said 'Don't worry Mum, I will reach England shortly.' Now he's back to me in a coffin." Image: At least 16 people have been returned to Iraq following the tragedy Over the past decade, hundreds of thousands of people have travelled dangerously to Western Europe with the help of smugglers.They have risked treacherous journeys in order to flee conflict, persecution and poverty in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan and elsewhere.

'He's back to me in a coffin': Devastated families hold funerals for some who died in Channel crossing tragedy

Funerals have been held in Iraq today as the bodies of 16 of the Kurdish migrants who drowned last month when their dinghy capsized in the English Channel were repatriated.

Despite the tragedy taking place on 24 November, the heartbroken families and friends of the people who died have been forced to waited weeks for their bodies to be identified and then released back to Iraqi Kurdistan.

One of the funerals held on Sunday was for 24-year-old Baran Nouri Mohammedameen, who died trying to cross the Channel so she could be reunited with her fiancé who was waiting in England for her.

27 people died as they were crossing the English Channel last month
Image: A month after the tragedy funerals are only now beginning to take place

She had taken selfies of herself as she travelled on the dinghy, but hours later the flimsy boat sank. Of the 33 people on board, 27 were confirmed dead, two are missing and two rescued.

Baran's funeral took place in the town of Soran, in northern Iraq, where she grew up.

Baran Nuri Hamadamin had taken selfies of herself as she travelled on the dingy
Image: Baran Nuri Hamadamin had taken selfies of herself as she travelled on the dingy

Alistair Bunkall, Sky News Middle Eastern Correspondent, said: “They all knew the journey they were taking was dangerous, but they all had a different reason for wanting to get to the UK.

“But thousands before them had made it, and so they took the risk.”

More on Iraq

The plane carrying the bodies landed on early Sunday morning in the airport of Erbil, which is the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

Family and friends were finally able to bury their loved ones after weeks of waiting
Image: Family and friends were finally able to bury their loved ones after weeks of waiting

Ambulances then took the coffins to the home towns of those who died.

Shukriya Bakir, whose son was one of those who drowned, said: "The last time I heard my son's voice was when he got on board the boat.

"He said 'Don't worry Mum, I will reach England shortly.' Now he's back to me in a coffin."

At least 16 people have been returned to Iraq following the tragedy
Image: At least 16 people have been returned to Iraq following the tragedy

Over the past decade, hundreds of thousands of people have travelled dangerously to Western Europe with the help of smugglers.

They have risked treacherous journeys in order to flee conflict, persecution and poverty in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan and elsewhere.