At least 12 Migrants Dead and 70 Missing after Boat Capsizes Trying to Reach Italy

As many as 12 migrants trying to reach Italy from Tunisia have drowned after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean on Friday, just one day after the UN migration agency said that around 70 migrants have gone missing at sea and are presumed dead off the coast of Libya.

“The 12 bodies that were recovered off the coast of Nabeul were mostly of Syrian migrants,” Reuters quoted a civil protection official as saying. The search operation is continuing to find more drowned migrants if any, the official added.

Hundreds of thousands of people have made the dangerous Mediterranean crossing aimed at fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.

Several people have drowned off the Tunisian coast in recent months in hope to reach Europe to start a good life.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Thursday said that at least 70 people have gone missing at sea and are presumed dead off the coast of Libya since January.

“I am appalled by the continuing loss of life in the Central Mediterranean and the lack of action to tackle this ongoing tragedy,” said Federico Soda, Libya Chief of Mission for IOM.

On 12 March, a boat reportedly carrying 25 migrants capsized near the Libyan coast of Tobruk as a result seven people were dead, six other rescued and 12 others are still missing, IOM said.

According to IOM, the latest incident brings the total number of migrants reported dead or missing in the Central Mediterranean up to 215 this year.

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