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At least 43 migrants drown off Tunisian coast, charity says
3 July 2021, 19:51
At least 43 migrants have drowned off the coast of Tunisia after their boat capsized overnight, the Tunisian Red Crescent has said.
A vessel carrying 127 people left Libya's coastal city of Zuwara on Friday to cross the Mediterranean Sea towards Italy, Mongi Slim, the head of the charity, said.
Some 46 of those onboard were Sudanese, 16 were Eritrean and 12 were Bengali.
Meanwhile, 84 were rescued by fishermen, the defence ministry's spokesman Mohamed Zekri said.
However, he did not confirm the drowning of the remaining migrants on Saturday.
Libya is often used as a departure point for people making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean into Europe.
Several shipwrecks from smugglers' boats carrying migrants have occurred in recent weeks, as attempts to reach the continent become more frequent amid warmer summer weather.
Last week, Tunisian coastguards found seven bodies on the beaches of Djerba, an island off the southern coast.
They were buried at the cemetery for migrants - in Zarzis, Tunisia - who died in the Mediterranean.
Mr Slim made an urgent plea for help for the hundreds of migrants who escaped death, as his organisation is unable to provide housing.
"The three centres in Zarzis are full and cannot shelter more people. We also have 380 other migrants in confinement in Djerba with nowhere to go," the head of the Red Crescent said.