Migration: Tunisia: At least 14 people died in a boat accident

Tunisia: At least 14 people died in boat accident

Boats lie on the beach in the Tunisian coastal town of Zarzis (archive image). photo

© Mehdi El Arem/AP/dpa

Hundreds of people have been rescued from distress off the Tunisian coast – but at least 14 people die in a boat accident. They were probably on their way to Europe.

At least 14 people have died in a boat accident off the coast of Tunisia. 54 other migrants were rescued near the city of Sfax, the National Guard said on Thursday. The people come from countries south of the Sahara. Hundreds of refugees were rescued from distress at sea off the coast of Tunisia on Thursday night.

Many migrants want to leave Tunisia. In February, President Kais Saied called for tougher action against refugees. The head of state had accused migrants from sub-Saharan African countries of bringing violence and crime into the country. Security forces then arrested hundreds of people to check if they were in the country legally. Hostilities and racist attacks increased.

Tunisia is considered an important transit country for migrants on their way to Europe. Many people who reach Italy by boat also come from Tunisia. Around 1,350 people arrived by boat from the coastal town of Sfax on the Italian island of Lampedusa within 24 hours, according to the Italian news agency Ansa. The crossing in often unseaworthy boats is life-threatening. People die from it all the time.


source site-3