The Tunisian Red Crescent humanitarian organisation reported on Tuesday that at least 23 migrants from Africa drowned in a shipwreck off Tunisia as they tried to cross the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy, and 70 were rescued.
Over 120 migrants have perished in recent weeks in similar mishaps off the Tunisian coast, as improved weather has increased the number of trips from Tunisia and Libya towards Italy to reach Europe.
Red Crescent official Mongi Slim told Reuters that “(The Tunisian) navy rescued 70 migrants, as 23 others drowned in a boat carrying more than 90 migrants that set off from Libya towards Europe.”
In addition, The navy rescued 39 other migrants who were on another boat that sank off the coast of Sfax.
Fewer than 23,500 people have made it across the sea to Europe this year, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR says, with most new arrivals landing in Italy and Spain from Tunisia and Algeria.