Tunisian authorities intercepted various boats heading towards Europe on Tuesday, blocking hundreds of migrants from travelling towards Italy. However, Tunisians meanwhile continued to arrive on the Italian island of Lampedusa.
The Tunisian Coast Guard stopped several boats with migrants from travelling towards Italian coasts on Tuesday.
A boat with 70 people of various African nationalities was intercepted off Sfax,according to security source. These migrants were then reportedly disembarked at the port of Sfax.
In another operation, a coast guard unit stopped a boat with 60 migrants aboard: three Tunisians and 57 from various other African countries, including 18 women and two children.
In a preventative operation in Teboulba, in the Monastir Governorate, the Tunisian National Guard reportedly stopped nine Tunisians, two of whom were women, found in a car with outboard motors, foreign currency, Molotov cocktails, and a gas container in the boot.
In Jebeniana, in the Sfax Governorate, the coast guard stopped a boat with 29 Tunisians aboard.
Tunisian arrivals continue on Lampedusa
Meanwhile, despite the interventions by Tunisian authorities, Tunisian migrants continued to arrive in Italy. On Tuesday alone, there were about a dozen rescue interventions for migrants intercepted in the waters off Lampedusa, and arrivals continued overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday.
On the morning of Tuesday, July 21, six small boats were rescued by authorities. 102 Tunisians were brought ashore.
In the early afternoon on Tuesday, the coast guard rescued another four boats, which were transporting 71 Tunisians, in the waters off the island.
Then, another four boats, with about 70 Tunisians aboard, were spotted by a coast guard patrol boat in the evening.
Four boats arrived overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday. They had a total of 67 people total aboard, with each boiat carrying between 10 and 27 people, all Tunisians. These boats who managed to arrive autonomously on the coast, without being intercepted by patrol boats.