At least 20 migrants missing as boat sinks off SE Tunisia

Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa siting in a makeshift boat make its way towards the Italian coast, Oct 4, 2022. (PHOTO / AFP)

TUNIS – At least 20 migrants went missing after a boat sank off Tunisia's southeastern coast late Friday night, according to a judicial official from the Sfax province.

The boat, carrying at least 37 migrants from sub-Saharan countries, left the coast of Sfax on Friday night heading for Europe, spokesman of Sfax's Court of First Instance Faouzi Masmoudi told Xinhua.

So far, 17 migrants have been rescued, and the search for the missing is still underway, Masmoudi noted.

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Tunisia, located in the central Mediterranean, is one of the main departure points for illegal immigrants heading to Europe. Despite strict measures taken by the Tunisian authorities, illegal immigration from the Tunisian coast has been on the rise.