Tunisia migrant death toll rises to at least 35: govt

Tunisia- The bodies of 35 migrants have been recovered off Tunisia’s southern coast, the country’s defence ministry said on Sunday, revising upwards an earlier government death toll.

On Sunday Richard Bouhoula spokesperson for the ministry said, “35 bodies were recovered and 68 migrants rescued.”

A day before on a Saturday night the interior ministry reported a distress call at 22:45 from “a fishing boat about to sink” with migrants on board.

The defence ministry spokesperson said, Tunisians and seven foreigners were among the survivors, including nationals from Ivory Coast, Mali, Morocco and Cameroon.

The statement read, “The coastguard and the navy continue their search with the support of a military plane,”

“Units of the Sfax Marine Guard and the Navy went to the boat which was five nautical miles from Kerkennah island and 16 nautical miles from the city of Sfax,” the ministry added.

The departure of Tunisians and migrants who regularly try to cross the Mediterranean to seek a better future in Europe, however departures peaked last September.

According to non-governmental organisations, the increase in migration is the constant frustration among young people, unable to find work.

In October, a collision between a migrant boat and a Tunisian military ship left at least 44 dead, in what Prime Minister Youssef Chahed called a “national disaster”.

Photo Credit- news24

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