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Dozens die after migrant boat capsize off Tunisia coast

Published: May 10, 2019 20:58:40 | Updated: May 13, 2019 12:41:18


Dozens of migrants are thought to have died after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean off the coast of Tunisia.

At least 50 people died in the incident, with 16 survivors, the UN's International Organization for Migration says.

But Tunisian state media report that 70 migrants drowned about 74km (46 miles) off Sfax, south of the capital Tunis, reports BBC.

Tunisian officials reportedly believe the ship set off from Zuwara in Libya.

Only three bodies have reportedly been recovered from the scene so far, and the navy is searching for others.

A statement from the Tunisian defence ministry reportedly said the navy had despatched a ship as soon as it heard about the incident and came across a fishing boat picking up survivors. All 16 have now been moved to the navy ship.

The passengers are understood to have been from sub-Saharan Africa.

Thousands of migrants attempt to cross the Mediterranean to Europe every year.

But they often travel in poorly maintained and overcrowded ships, and many have died on the journey.

In January, a UN report said six migrants died crossing the Mediterranean every day in 2018.

 

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