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Tunisian coast guards retrieve nine bodies from Mediterranean, all migrants

Tunisian coast guards have retrieved the bodies of nine illegal immigrants after their boat sank off the southeastern province of Medenine, the Tunisian National Guard said last night.

“A unit of the naval guard retrieved Thursday off Zarzis coast nine bodies of illegal immigrants of different nationalities and rescued 43 others, including one person in critical condition,” it said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

The immigrants said that they sailed from a neighboring country toward Italy’s Lampedusa island in the Mediterranean Sea, it added.

According to figures released by the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights on Tuesday, 1,313 people of different nationalities drowned or went missing off Tunisian coasts in 2023.

Tunisia, located in the central Mediterranean, is one of the main points of access to Europe used by illegal immigrants. The number of illegal immigrants heading for Italy from the Tunisian coast has been increasing despite the strict measures taken by the Tunisian authorities.

Famagusta Gazette