More than 80 migrants feared dead as boat sinks near Tunisia

More than 80 migrants feared dead as boat sinks near Tunisia

More than 80 people are feared to be dead after their boat sank while fleeing to Europe from Libya.

The boat capsized on Wednesday (local time) off the port town of Zarzis in Tunisia.

Flavio Di Giacomo, a spokesman for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), tweeted yesterday:

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said Tunisian fisherman rescued four people from the capsized boat but one later died in hospital.

The survivors were rescued 14.5km off the coast Zarzis.

Vincent Cochetel, the UNHCR Special Envoy for the Mediterranean, said: “The status quo cannot continue.”

Libya’s western coast is the primary departure point for African migrants hoping to reach Europe.

However, an Italian-led effort to disrupt smuggling networks and help the Libyan coastguard has caused the number of migrants leaving, with human trafficker assistance, from the Libyan west coast to fall.

At least 65 migrants also drowned in May while travelling from Libya heading for Europe after their boat capsized off Tunisia.

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