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Europe’s refugee crisis

At least 35 migrants dead after boat sinks off Tunisian coast

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 June, 2018, 9:10pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 June, 2018, 9:10pm

At least 35 migrants were killed when their boat sank off Tunisia’s southern coast and 67 others were rescued by the coastguard, the Defence Ministry said on Sunday.

The rescue operation was ongoing, the ministry said in a statement. The migrants were of Tunisian and other nationalities.

Human traffickers increasingly use Tunisia as a launch pad for migrants heading to Europe as Libya’s coastguard, aided by armed groups, has tightened controls.

Security officials said the boat was packed with about 180 migrants, including 80 from other African countries.

Unemployed Tunisians and other Africans often try to depart in makeshift boats from Tunisia to Sicily in Italy.

More to follow …