Six children among 13 migrants found dead off Tunisia

The migrants were from sub-Saharan Africa and had set off in two boats

Thirteen migrants were found dead after a boat carrying migrants off the coast of Tunisia capsized. AFP

Tunisian authorities recovered the bodies of 13 migrants, including six women and six children, after their boats capsized as they tried to make the dangerous sea crossing to Italy, a court official said on Saturday.

The migrants were all from sub-Saharan Africa and had set off in two boats, said Mourad Turki, spokesman for the court in the Mediterranean port city of Sfax.

Rescuers pulled 37 migrants from the water on Friday and Saturday but a dozen more remained unaccounted for, he told AFP.

Tunisia and neighbouring Libya are key departure points for migrants seeking to reach European shores, often in vessels that are barely seaworthy.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR has said that about 1,300 migrants drowned or went missing in the central Mediterranean last year, making it the world's deadliest migration route.

The International Organisation for Migration estimates that more than 18,000 migrants have died or disappeared while attempting to make the crossing since 2014.

Updated: April 10, 2022, 4:18 AM