Twenty drown in migrant shipwreck off Tunisia
26 December 2020
Bodies of drowned migrants in white sacks at Sfax
TUNIS -- At least 20 people, 19 of them women, four of whom were pregnant, were drowned when an overloaded boat trying to reach Italy from Tunisia, capsized on Christmas Eve, Tunisian authorities said.
Tunisian coast guard continued Friday to search for 13 other people believed missing while four would-be migrants were rescued from the sea and 19 bodies were retrieved. In all 37 people were aboard the vessel, three from Tunisia and the others from subsharan Africa, the authorities in the port of Sfax said.
Tunisian authorities recently intercepted a number of illegal migrant vessels between Sfax and the italian island of Lampedusa but say the number of crossing attempt is increasing with people smugglers arranging hazardous trips both for Africans from subsaharan countries abut also for increasing numbers of Tunisians seeking to escape the economic problems of the north African country.