At least 43 migrants have drowned in a shipwreck off Tunisa after attempting to cross from Libya to Italy, the Tunisian Red Crescent has said.
The boat had set off from Zuwara, on Libya’s northwest coast, and was carrying migrants from Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Bangladesh, according to the humanitarian organisation.
Red Crescent official Mongi Slim said the navy were able to rescue 84 migrants but that 43 others drowned.
Several drowning incidents have occurred off the Tunisian coast in recent months, with an increase in the frequency of attempted crossings to Europe as the weather has improved.
Hundreds of thousands of people have made the perilous Mediterranean crossing in recent years, many of them fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.
Arrivals in Italy – one of the main migrant routes into Europe – had been falling in recent years, but numbers picked up again in 2021.
Almost 19,800 migrants have arrived since the beginning of the year against just over 6,700 in the same period last year, Italian interior Ministry figures show.
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