75 people missing, one dead, after migrant boat sinks off Tunisia


TUNIS (Reuters) -Seventy five people were missing after a crowded boat of migrants sank off Tunisia on Wednesday, the International Organization for Migration said and a security official said, as the numbers risking the dangerous crossing to Europe increase.

The IOM said 24 people had been rescued from the boat, which departed from the beaches of Zawara in Libya and sank off the coast of Sfax.

A Tunisian security official told Reuters that the coastguard had recovered a body as they continue to search for 75 others who were missing.

In recent months, dozens of people have drowned off the Tunisian coast, with an increase in the frequency of attempted crossings from Tunisia and Libya towards Italy.

Hundreds of thousands of people have made the perilous Mediterranean crossing in recent years.

Figures from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) showed that more than 123,000 migrants arrived in Italy in 2021, compared to more than 95,000 in 2020.

(Reporting By Tarek Amara; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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