More than 50 migrants drown as a boat capsizes off the coast of Tunisia | Human rights news

A boat carrying 90 people left Libya on Sunday and sank off the coast of Tunisia the next day.

At least 57 migrants and refugees drowned off the Tunisian coast, while 33 were rescued by workers from an oil rig after a boat sank on Monday from northern Libya.

Tunisian Defense Ministry spokesman Mohamed Zekri said on Tuesday the boat capsized off Sfax on Tunisia’s southeast coast.

He said oil rig personnel who saw the boat pass under alerted authorities and navy units had been dispatched to search the water for missing passengers.

“Thirty-three Bengalis were saved [and] Another 57 drowned in a boat carrying around 90 migrants who left Libya for Europe, ”Mongi Slim, head of the Red Crescent, told Reuters news agency on Tuesday.

The nationalities of those who died were not immediately clear.

The official Tunisian news agency TAP reported that navy units rescued 113 other migrants from Bangladesh, Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa on Monday afternoon as their boat was about to sink off Djerba, an island off the Tunisian coast.

Libya is a frequent point of departure for migrants to Europe making the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea.

Monday’s incident was at least the fifth deadly boat sunk in the past two months off Tunisia involving migrants fleeing conflict or poor living conditions.

Earlier this month, 17 migrants drowned and two were rescued after their boat sank off the coast of Tunisia.

More than 60 migrants and refugees have died in recent weeks in similar incidents off the Tunisian coast.

The UN believes that at least 685 people died or disappeared along the Mediterranean this year.

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