Boat with dozens of migrants capsizes off Tunisia coast | World news

Dozens of African migrants capsized off the coast of Tunisia after setting off for Europe from Libya, a government source and the Tunisian Red Crescent have said.

Some of the four initial survivors told the Tunisian coast guard on Thursday the boat had sunk off the town of Zarzis the day before, the Red Crescent official Mongi Slim said. One of the four died later in hospital.

A government source said the survivors, who were rescued nine miles (14.5km) off the town of Zarzis, had informed coastguards they had set out from Libya, and that dozens had drowned.

At least 65 migrants heading for Europe from Libya drowned last May when their boat capsized off Tunisia.

Libya’s west coast is a main departure point for African migrants hoping to reach Europe with the help of human traffickers, though numbers have dropped because of an Italian-led effort to disrupt smuggling networks and support the Libyan coast guard. Although the fighting in Libya has made the situation more difficult for people-trafficking rackets, international aid officials have warned it could also prompt Libyans to flee their country.

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