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48 migrants killed and dozens missing in a shipwreck in front of Tunisia

The authorities have rescued 68 survivors from the ship, with some 180 people travelling

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48 migrants killed and dozens missing in a shipwreck in front of Tunisia

The sea of tragedies in which Mediterranean has become hit on Sunday with harsh Tunisia. The shipwreck of a small fishing vessel full of migrants led to death of at least 48 people, according to Tunisian Ministry of Defence, a balance that could increase appreciably during next hours because number of missing is estimated in Around 70. As reported by Ministry of Interior, rescue teams were able to rescue 68 people, most of m Tunisian nationality. In recent months, clandestine migration has soared in direction of Italy from beaches of Tunisia, a country ravaged by high rates of juvenile unemployment. This same Sunday, anor shipwreck off Turkish coast was nine deaths.

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  • A sea of migratory tragedies in Tunisia

"Around 22.45 on Saturday, a small-scale fishing vessel launched a distress call to authorities warning that it was about to sink," says Myriam Chaabi, spokesperson for International Organization for Migration (IOM) , whose professionals in city of Sfax are labored to provide assistance to survivors. According to ir testimonies collected by IOM, boat sailed with more than 180 people aboard from a beach near Sfax, second largest city in country, about 270 miles south of capital. After two hours of precarious sailing, ship, with a crew superior to one he could bear, began to sink.

In a public statement, Tunisian Ministry of Interior reported that shipwreck occurred about five nautical miles from island of Kerkenah, and 16 miles from Sfax. Several National Guard and army vessels and civil protection divers participate in rescue work, as well as a military aircraft. Of 68 survivors, 60 are Tunisian nationals, 5 from different countries in sub-Saharan Africa, two are Moroccans and one is Libyan. "The usual thing is that most of crew on boats that are clandestinely heading towards Europe are Tunisian. There are also foreigners, but y represent a small percentage, "says Chaabi. Therefore, re may not be a direct relationship between migratory phenomenon in this country Maghreb with reduction of pateras exits of Libya as a result of agreements between authorities of this country and European Union.

Rescue of a migrant off Turkish coast this Sunday. Turkish Coast Guard EFE

Migration from Tunisia to Italian coast has multiplied over last few months, having remained in rar modest records from 2013. While in 2016 only about 1,200 Tunisians arrived in Italy, between months of August and October of last year figure had ascended to 3,200. The last balance of this year, which dates from April 30, stands at 1,910, suggesting that clandestine travel has not waned. Tunisians already account for 20% of migrants in Italy in 2018, according to UNHCR. A survey by FTDES Foundation pointed out that up to 56% of young Tunisians want to leave West in absence of labour and vital expectations in ir country.

At same time that drama was unleashed in Sfax, something similar happened on Turkish coast, three nautical miles from town of Demre, in province of Antalya. Nine people — six of m minors — died when y sank boat y were trying to reach Greek coast. Rescue teams were able to rescue five people, and still look for someone who is missing. So far this year, a total of 649 migrants have drowned trying to cross Mediterranean, a human catastrophe without end in sight.

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