Death toll from Tunisia migrant shipwreck tops 100

Death toll from the sinking of the boat near Kerkennah Islands has risen to 112, IOM says.

Relatives carry a coffin containing the body of an immigrant who drowned when a boat sank, at a hospital morgue in Sfax
About 100 of those on board the sunken boat were Tunisians [Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters]

The death toll from the sinking of a boat packed with migrants off the coast of Tunisia on Saturday has risen to 112, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Monday. 

On Sunday, officials said 46 people died when the boat capsized near Kerkennah Islands. More than 65 migrants have been rescued by coastguard.

The latest shipwreck is the most deadly in the Mediterranean Sea since February 2 when 90 people drowned off the coast of Libya, according to the IOM.

Human traffickers increasingly use Tunisia as a launch pad for migrants heading to Europe as Libya’s coastguard, aided by armed groups, has tightened controls.

A survivor told AFP news agency that more than 180 people were crammed onto the boat – double its capacity – when it started taking on water and sank. About 100 of those on board were Tunisians.

In March, 120 mainly Tunisian migrants were rescued by the navy trying to reach Italy.

More than 650 people have been recorded as dead or missing in the Mediterranean so far this year, while at least 33,270 have survived the crossing to Europe.


Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies