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Five African migrants die, 10 missing after a boat sank off Tunisia

TUNIS (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – At least five African migrants have died and 10 others are missing after a boat sank off Tunisia as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to Italy. A judicial official said on Saturday.

The coastguard rescued 20 migrants from the overcrowded boat, which sank on Friday off Louata in the Sfax region, the official told RockedBuzz via Reuters.

The coast of Sfax has become an important departure point for people fleeing poverty in Africa and the Middle East for a chance at a better life in Europe.

Hundreds of people have drowned off the Tunisian coast in recent months, with an increase in the frequency of attempts to cross from Tunisia and Libya to Italy.

In light of an unprecedented economic and financial crisis in Tunisia, more than 18,000 Tunisians traveled by boat to Europe in 2022, according to rights group Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights.

(Reporting by Tarek Amara; Editing by Mark Potter)