World

75 people missing after boat sinks off Tunisia coast

Seventy-five people are missing after a crowded boat of migrants sank off Tunisia, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

The IOM said 24 people had been rescued from the boat, which left the beaches of Zawara in northern Libya and sank off the coast of Sfax.

A Tunisian security official told Reuters news agency that the coastguard had recovered a body.

The central Mediterranean, connecting Libya to Italy or Malta, is the most dangerous migration route in the world, the IOM says.

The UN agency estimates that more than 1,500 people died or went missing in the area in 2021 and more than 500 so far in 2022.

In recent months, dozens of people have drowned off the Tunisian coast.

Hundreds of thousands of people have made the perilous Mediterranean crossing in recent years.

Figures from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) showed that more than 123,000 migrants arrived in Italy in 2021, compared to more than 95,000 in 2020.

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