80 dead as migrant boat capsized off Tunisia again

At least 80 migrants died after the boat they were travelling on capsized off Tunisia on Thursday.

The migrants were headed to Europe from Libya when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean.

A survivor told Reuters at the Liwa refugee centre in Tunisia that he and three others survived by sitting on a piece of wood for two days. Malian Souleyman Couibaly said they had taken the wood from the capsized boat.

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“There were a lot of dead people. A lot of dead people then the doctor is helping me so I can get upstairs. We are looking at the sea to search for boats passing, but we didn’t see any boats. We called the Europeans to pick us up, but their phone doesn’t ring.

We were sitting in the water for three hours, the water is entering, the boat is sinking, the others fall, the water fills the boat and we are sinking. Only we were saved, the others are lost, dead in the water, we don’t know where they are. We took some wood that was inside the boat. We, four people, sat on the wood”, he recalls.

Last May at least 65 migrants headed to Europe from Libya drowned when their boat capsized off Tunisia.

Libya’s west coast is a main departure point for African migrants hoping to reach Europe through human traffickers.

But the numbers have dipped due to an Italian-led effort to interrupt smuggling networks and support from the Libyan coast guard.


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