58 migrants die off Tunisian coasts, 1,242 rescued: national guard


Tunisian coast guards have retrieved 58 bodies of immigrants and rescued 1,242 survivors in the past 48 hours off the country’s coasts, Tunisian National Guard said Tuesday.

The batch of survivors includes 1,207 from sub-Saharan African countries, and the rest were from Tunis and other Arab countries, said Houcemeddine Jbabli, Tunisian National Guard’s spokesman, in a statement.

Jbabli said they were trying to cross the Mediterranean toward the Italian island of Lampedusa.

This came after coastguards recovered 31 bodies of undocumented migrants off the coasts of Sfax, Mahdia and Gabes provinces late on Saturday.

During the spring and summer seasons, the number of immigrants seeking to reach Italy via Tunisian coasts increases significantly due to favorable weather conditions.

Located in the central Mediterranean, Tunisia is one of the most popular points of illegal immigration to Europe. ■

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