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14 April 2024

Tunisia recovers 14 migrants' bodies after dozens drowned off coast

Photo: Gettyimages


Tunisia's Coast Guard recovered on Saturday the bodies of 14 African migrants who drowned when their boat carrying more than 80 people sank after setting off for Europe from neighbouring Libya, Reuters reported on Sunday.

Tunisian fishermen rescued four people but one later died in hospital, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Thursday. The others on the overcrowded boat were feared drowned, said the Reuters report.

As WAM reported on Thursday, over 80 migrants went missing at sea following a shipwreck, which occurred on Wednesday off the coast of Zarzis in Tunisia.

A rubber dinghy, which had departed from Libya, sunk on Wednesday off the coast of Zarzis. One of the five survivors, a man from the Ivory Coast, later died in hospital, reported the Italian news agency ANSAmed.

The Reuters report said at least 65 migrants heading for Europe from Libya drowned last May when their boat capsized off Tunisia.

Libya's west coast is a main departure point for African migrants hoping to reach Europe, though numbers have dropped due to an Italian-led effort to disrupt smuggling networks and support the Libyan Coast Guard, said the report.