Görkem ŞEKEROĞLU -TDO- At least 20 migrants died when their boat sank off Tunisia’s coast as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean to the Italian island of Lampedusa.
The Tunisian coastguard were able to save five people and the search for more is continuing. Tunisian National Guard spokesman Ali Ayari told news agencies on Thursday that the boat was overloaded and in poor shape and that about 45 people were on the boat when it sank. Al Ayari added that 20 bodies were recovered, 5 others were rescued, and all were from sub-Saharan Africa.
Tunisia Defence Ministry spokesman Mohamed Ben Zekri informed that coastguard boats and local fishermen found the bodies off the coastal city of Sfax in central Tunisia.
The shores around port of Sfax has become an important departure point for people seeking to flee conflict and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.