World News

Tunisia: Eleven migrants die in latest Mediterranean accident

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By Alex Binley

BBC News

A Tunisian national coast guard helps a child to get off a rescue boatImage source, Reuters

Image caption,

A Tunisian national coast guard helps a child to get off a rescue boat back in April

At least 11 people are thought to have died in a shipwreck off the coast of Tunisia, with 12 others still missing.

Tunisia’s coastguard rescued 14 people after the boat, which was carrying 37 migrants to Italy, sank on Tuesday

Five more bodies were recovered on Saturday night, the state news agency TAP says, bringing the death toll to 11.

More than 1,000 migrants are thought to have died this year attempting to cross the central Mediterranean.

The figures are from the UN agency, the Institute of Migration. Of the 1,033 migrants classed as dead or missing, 960 are thought to have drowned.

The Tunisian boat set off from the Sfax region, with the boat sinking around 40 miles further up the coast near Chebba, Mahdia.

The coastline around Sfax has become a major departure point for people trying to cross the Mediterranean in the hope of reaching Europe.

The Italian island of Lampedusa lies in between the eastern coast of Tunisia and Sicily and is often a destination for those attempting to reach Europe from north Africa.

According to the EU border agency Frontex, there were 52,000 “irregular entries” via the central Mediterranean route between January and August this year, with the migrants mainly from Tunisia, Egypt, and Bangladesh.

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