21 dead in weekend migrant boat sinking: Tunisia court
Published: 12:09 PM, 14 October 2020
A migrant boat sinking off the coast of Tunisia over the weekend left at least 21 people dead, a court said Tuesday, after four more bodies were found.
Accroding to the reports by AFP, Seven survivors were rescued on Sunday and 17 bodies had since been retrieved.
Sfax court spokesman Mourad Turki said, “There was little hope of finding more survivors among the remaining four or five missing passengers.”
Earlier, Turki told that the boat had been carrying 29 people, including two Tunisians and people from various African countries.
Most of the passengers knew each other, some had been working in Tunisia for several months, he added.
Tunisia’s interior ministry had said it foiled 32 attempts to cross the Mediterranean and arrested 262 people between Saturday night and Sunday morning alone.
“Since the start of 2020 until mid-September, more than 8,500 people have been held trying to reach Europe by sea from Tunisia, including 2,104 non-Tunisians,” the ministry said in a statement.
The number of would-be migrants trying to cross to Europe from Tunisia has been on the rise since 2017, largely driven by economic woes in the North African country, almost a decade after a revolution that many had hoped would bring change.