Sunday, October 2, 2022

Dozens of migrants missing off Tunisia’s coast

TUNIS, Tunisia ( Associated Press) — A boat carrying migrants from Libya to Europe capsized off the coast of Tunisia, prompting rescue operations on Wednesday after one body was found and dozens of people missing.

The International Organization for Migration said 75 people could not be traced and 30 others were rescued after a boat sank off Sfax in southern Tunisia.

Sfax court spokesman Mourad Turki told The Associated Press that those rescued were between the ages of 18 and 40 and were of various nationalities, including people from Bangladesh, Egypt, Morocco and Cameroon. Turkey said the initial number of missing people was provisional and could rise.

IOM spokeswoman Esma Rihane said the Tunisian Navy was continuing a search operation in the area and searching for the missing.

The boat reportedly left Zuwara in northern Libya on Sunday night. According to the Suffix National Guard, the boat was aground 10 kilometers (six miles) from Kerkenah Island, off the coast of Tunisia.

Zuwara serves as a departure point for Libyan migrants attempting to reach the Italian coast by sea. Last July, a boat carrying 127 migrants from Zuwara sank in Zerzis, a port in southern Tunisia, leaving 43 people missing.

According to the IOM, the central Mediterranean, which connects the countries of Libya and the Maghreb to Italy or Malta, is the most dangerous migration route in the world. The UN agency estimates that more than 1,500 people were killed or missing in the region in 2021 and more than 500 so far in 2022.

Nation World News Desk
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