Death toll in Tunisia migrant boats disaster rises to 20

Four boats carrying 120 African migrants to Italy capsized off Sfax at the weekend

A Tunisian coast guard member helps a child off a rescue boat after migrants were rescued off the coast of Sfax, on Saturday. Reuters
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The death toll from the sinking of migrant boats off Tunisia at the weekend rose to 20 people on Monday, a judicial official said.

Tunisia's coastguard recovered three more bodies on Monday, said Mourad Turki, spokesman for the courts in the city of Sfax.

Seventeen bodies were recovered at the weekend after four boats carrying 120 African migrants to Italy capsized off Sfax.

It is the latest in a series of migrant boat disasters that have taken place off Tunisia.

The coastline of Sfax has become a major departure point for people fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa and the Middle East and seeking a better life in Europe.

In recent months, dozens of people have drowned, amid 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.

Updated: April 26, 2022, 4:20 AM