The boat that migrants from Africa were trying to reach Italy via the Mediterranean Sea sank off the coast of Tunisia. At least 20 people are believed to be missing, an official from the Tunisian city of Safakis said, quoted by Reuters.
The coast guard managed to rescue 17 people, two of whom are in critical condition. At least 20 people are believed to be missing, said Safakis court judge Faouzi Masmousdi, who was quoted by Reuters on Saturday.
This is yet another case of sinking of a boat carrying migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. Tunisia took over from Libya the main point from which those fleeing poverty and conflicts in Africa and the Middle East try to reach Europe in the hope of a better life.
The Tunisian National Guard said on Friday that more than 14,000 migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan African countries, had been intercepted or rescued in the first three months of the year as they tried to reach Europe. This is a five-fold increase compared to the same period last year.
Europe must reckon with a huge wave of migrants arriving on its shores from North Africa in the near future, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on Friday. She called on the International Monetary Fund and several of the richest countries to provide immediate assistance to Tunisia in order to prevent the collapse of this country.
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