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At least 27 people drowned in frigid waters off the coast of France on Wednesday, after a boat carrying migrants trying to reach Britain capsized in the English Channel, one of the worst death tolls in recent years for migrants attempting the dangerous crossing.

Gerald Darmanin, France’s interior minister, said that the dead, including five women and a little girl, were part of a group whose "extremely fragile” inflatable boat was found completely deflated by rescuers. French officials had previously given a death toll of 31, but later revised the figure.

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