At least 34 migrants missing after shipwreck off Tunisia

TUNIS (Reuters) – At least 34 African migrants went missing on Friday after their boat capsized off the coast of Tunisia, the fifth drowning in two days, bringing the total number of missing to 67, Tunisian authorities said.

This sinking occurs in the context of a sharp increase in the number of boats headed to Italy.

Italy’s coast guard said on Thursday it had rescued some 750 migrants in two separate operations off Italy’s southern coast, after at least five people were killed and 33 others injured during an attempt to cross the sea from Tunisia. had gone missing.

Housem Jabli, a National Guard official, said the coast guard had intercepted 56 boats headed for Italy in two days and detained more than 3,000 migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan African countries.

At least 12,000 migrants arriving in Italy this year are from Tunisia, compared with 1,300 during the same period in 2022, according to UN data. Prior to this, Libya was the main crossing point for African migrants seeking to travel to Europe illegally.

(Reporting by Tarek Amara, Tarek Amara and Anas Alshare, French edition edited by Gail Sheehan, Tangi Salon)

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