At least 20 dead as migrant boat sinks off Tunisia

By: AFP      Published: 08:11 PM, 16 Apr, 2021
At least 20 dead as migrant boat sinks off Tunisia

At least 20 African migrants, including a baby, died and several others went missing after a boat loaded with migrants headed for Europe sank off Tunisia, the coast guard said Friday.

Ali Ayari, spokesman for the coast guard in Sfax, said the bodies of 11 men, eight women and the baby were collected from waters off the eastern city on Thursday.

Only three people were rescued and about 17 others are missing, he said. Search operations, halted due to bad weather, would continue on Saturday. 

Last year saw an upsurge of makeshift boats attempting to cross the central Mediterranean, the deadliest route for would-be migrants to Europe.

At least 292 migrants have perished in the Mediterranean since January 1, according to the United Nations. Last year's death toll was 1,200.