Tunis, Jul 3 (EFE).- At least 43 people have drowned in a shipwreck off Tunisia as a group of migrants tried to cross from the Libya to Italy, the Tunisian Red Crescent said Saturday.
The boat – which had set off from Zuwara and destined to Lampedusa – sank due to strong currents and waves hours after leaving the Libyan city located on the border with Tunisia, the organization told Efe.
Another 84 people, mostly from Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Bangladesh, were rescued and brought to land.
This is the worst incident of its kind since 41 people, including a dozen women and a child, died in a shipwreck on 17 April, according to Tunisian coastguards.
By May this year, some 2,800 migrants, including 322 unaccompanied minors, have illegally crossed to Italy from Tunisia, but some 215 have died in the attempt, according to the NGO Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights.
In 2021, authorities have recorded a 133% increase in illegal migrants from 2020, and 500% increase since 2019.
Around 700 people have sunk in the Mediterranean since the beginning of 2021 on attempts to reach the European coasts, data from International Organization for Migration shows. EFE