Four bodies found off Tunisia in presumed migrant boat accident

Tunisian authorities have recovered the bodies of four people believed to be African migrants, including a pregnant woman, off the coast of Kerkennah Island in the Mediterranean.

Sfax regional prosecutor Faouzi Masmoudi told AP on Monday that the bodies were handed over to a local hospital.

The bodies were discovered early Sunday and appeared to have drowned several days before, Mr Masmoudi said. He said that only adult bodies had been found when asked about reports that a newborn baby had been among the dead.

The authorities are investigating what occurred and seeking any information about other passengers, believing that the people departed from Tunisia or neighbouring Libya on a boat.

Many migrants are said to have crossed from Tunisia to Europe this year, with many fleeing conflict or poverty in other parts of Africa.

Around 2,000 people have died or disappeared in the Mediterranean this year, according to the Missing Migrants Project of the International Organisation for Migration, which tracks migration across the world. The majority lost their lives or went missing on the central Mediterranean route, which includes Tunisia.

A coastguard unit based in Mahdia’s localities last month recovered 15 dead migrants washed on shore. At least eight migrants died and 15 others were missing after a boat sank off Tunisia in September, as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean to Italy. In April, four boats carrying 120 migrants capsized off Sfax, killing at least 20 people.


Image Credit: AFP