A Pair of Migrant Boats Sink off Tunisia, 39 Dead

At least 39 migrants died as two boats sank off in Tunisia while crossing the Mediterranean to Italy on Tuesday, Tunisian authorities said. 

The Tunisian defense ministry also said that authorities rescued 165 others mostly of African nationalities. 

“The two boats sank off the coast of Karatin on the island of Kerkennah in Sfax,” spokesperson for the Tunisian National Guard Houssam al-Din Jebali said. 

“The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, are deeply saddened by the latest loss of life in the Central Mediterranean, after two boats capsized off Tunisia’s shores on Tuesday, 9 March,” Carmela Godeau regional director of the UN migration agency in the Middle East and North Africa wrote on Twitter. 

In December, at least 20 migrants died off the coast of Tunisia when their boats capsized due to overloading. 

The city of Sfax in Tunisia is a main jump-off point for migrants and refugees fleeing conflict and economic hardships. 

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