From file, June 11, 2020: Migrants often set off from Sfax on the central Tunisian coast for Europe - many have died when their boats sank or capsized | Photo: AFP/Houssem Zouari
From file, June 11, 2020: Migrants often set off from Sfax on the central Tunisian coast for Europe - many have died when their boats sank or capsized | Photo: AFP/Houssem Zouari

At least 11 people are dead after their boat sank off the coast of Tunisia on Wednesday. Among the victims was a girl about 10 years old.

Tunisian coast guard authorities said Friday, January 21, that they had recovered the bodies of four of 11 known victims of the shipwreck that happened near the Kerkenna Islands off the Tunisian city of Sfax.

Army spokesman Houssem Eddine Jebabli told the AFP news agency that 21 people on the boat had been rescued alive by the coast guard. According to witnesses, the vessel had set out on Wednesday carrying 32 migrants – all Tunisian nationals.

Tunisian media reported that among the dead was a girl about ten years old. "The search for the other missing is still ongoing," the army spokesman said.

2021: Missing and dead

More than 2,500 people died or went missing in 2021 while attempting to reach Europe via the Mediterranean and northwestern Africa route, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

Last July, at least 43 migrants drowned in a shipwreck off Tunisia after setting out to cross the Mediterranean. Another 84 people were rescued. The boat had been carrying migrants from Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Bangladesh, said the Tunisian Red Crescent.

Also read: Zarzis, Tunisia: Overwhelmed by the unclaimed bodies of migrants

With AFP, Reuters

 

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