Urgent Search Operation Underway For Survivors After 39 Migrants Drown Off The Tunisian Coast

Nine-Year-Old Girl Dies Attempting to Cross US Border image: United Nations

Urgent Search Operation Underway For Survivors After 39 Migrants Drown Off The Tunisian Coast.

An urgent search for survivors is underway after two boats capsized off the coast of the island of Sfax, Tunisia’s second-largest city.

According to sources, another 165 people of different African nationalities have been rescued so far during search operations. It had previously been reported that at least fourteen people were killed, including four minors, according to local Coast Guard spokesman Colonel Housemeddine Jebabli, but that figure has now sadly increased to 39.

According to information gathered by the Tunisian state news agency TAP, the vessels began their journey on Monday night and sank off the coast of the island of Kerkena, in the northeastern province of Sfax.

Yebabli had indicated at first that the rescued were sub-Saharan migrants, but later, the Defence Ministry has expanded the number of rescued to 165, including two Tunisians, according to the German agency DPA, which ensures that the search operation continues ongoing.

Tunisia has registered an upturn in recent months of attempts to reach European coasts through the Mediterranean Sea, a phenomenon caused in part by the serious economic crisis that the country is going through.

According to data collected by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a total of  251 people have died so far this year trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach the shores of Europe.


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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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