Tunisia migrant wreck toll rises to 11 with 42 missing

TUNIS (Reuters) – Seven more bodies believed to be of migrants who drowned in a shipwreck off Tunisia have washed ashore, local authorities said on Monday, bringing the confirmed death toll to 11, with 44 still missing and only two rescued.

On Sunday a judicial official said the migrants aboard the boat, which sank off Tunisia’s Kerkennah island near the port of Sfax, were from sub-Saharan African countries.

From Jan. 1 to July 20 this year the Tunisian coast guard recovered 901 bodies of drowned migrants off its coast, an unprecedented number.

The North African country is facing a record wave of migration this year and frequent catastrophes involving boats heading to the Italian coast.

Tunisia has replaced Libya as the region’s main departure point for people fleeing poverty and conflict in Africa and the Middle East in hopes of a better life in Europe

(Reporting by Latifa Guesmi, writing by Angus McDowall, editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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