Over 50 dead in migrant shipwreck off Tunisia

Tunisian coast guards rescue African migrants stranded on a boat coming from Libya, near Sfax, on the Tunisian coast, on June 4, 2011. (File photo: AFP)

More than 50 people, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, died when a boat carrying migrants bound for Italy sank off Tunisia, a health official said Thursday in an updated toll.

Another 17 bodies were recovered, raising the total to 52 since the authorities were alerted by fishermen near the port city of Sfax on Tuesday. At least 24 women were among the victims.

Burials were held Thursday for some of those killed, said Sfax region's health director Ali Ayadi.

The boat's captain, a 48-year-old Tunisian, was among the dead, according to the authorities.

Witnesses had told authorities the victims were believed to be passengers on a boat that set off for Italy a week ago with 53 people on board.

Illegal crossings from Tunisia to Europe jumped by more than 150 percent in January to April compared with the same period last year, according to the UN's refugee agency.

Read more:

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Coronavirus lockdown: UAE launches new program for residents to return home

Coronavirus: Hugging less risky than handshakes, warns virologist

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Thursday, 11 June 2020 KSA 19:03 - GMT 16:03
Top