Bodies Of 11 Migrants Recovered Off Tunisian Coast

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A Libyan coast guardsman stands on a boat during the rescue of 147 illegal immigrants attempting to reach Europe off the coastal town of Zawiyah, 45 kilometres west of the capital Tripoli, on June 27, 2017. PHOTO: Taha JAWASHI / AFP

 

The bodies of 11 migrants have been recovered and 67 others rescued after their boat began sinking off Tunisia’s southern coast, the interior ministry said on Sunday.

Those rescued from the fishing vessel off the coast of southern Sfax province included “Tunisians and foreigners”, it said citing an initial toll.

The Tunisian national guard and navy units found the ship about 30 kilometres offshore after receiving a distress call at around midnight on Saturday.

The ministry said search operations, with the help of military aircraft and divers, were ongoing.

Tunisians and migrants regularly try to cross the Mediterranean to seek a better future in Europe, but departures peaked last September.

According to NGOs, the uptick reflected frustration among young people hard hit by unemployment.

In October, a collision between a migrant boat and a Tunisian military ship left at least 44 dead, in what Prime Minister Youssef Chahed called a “national disaster”.

AFP

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