At least 2 migrants dead as boat sinks off Tunisia’s coast

At least 2 migrants dead as boat sinks off Tunisia’s coast

13 people rescued from sinking boat, search efforts ongoing for 5 people

By Ekrem Biceroglu, Yosra Ouanes

TUNISIA (AA) – At least two migrants died and five others went missing on Saturday when their boat sank off Tunisia’s coast, according to local authorities.

The coast guard teams rescued 13 people from the sinking boat off the coast of Gabes city in Gulf of Gabes, said the Tunisian National Guard in a statement.

There were a total of 20 people on the boat.

A search is ongoing for the missing people.

Initial findings indicated that the two bodies belonged to a baby and a 20-year-old male, but details about the identities of the deceased were not provided.

Earlier this week, another boat carrying irregular migrants sunk off the coast of Tunisia's Sfax province, resulting in the death of 11 people. Forty-four others are missing.

In late July, Tunisia's Interior Minister Kamel Feki stated that the number of bodies of irregular migrants recovered from the Mediterranean shores had reached 901 since the beginning of the year.

Of the bodies recovered, 36 were Tunisian citizens, 267 were foreign nationals, and the identities of the others remain unknown.

In the same period, 15,327 individuals had been rescued, he said.

Every year, thousands of irregular migrants come to Tunisia, which shares borders with Libya and Algeria, in the hopes of reaching Europe via the Mediterranean for a better life.

*Writing by Esra Tekin in Istanbul

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