Five African migrants dead, dozens missing as three boats collide


At least five Africans are dead and dozens believed missing after three boats attempting to carry migrants across the Mediterranean Sea sank off the coast of the Tunisian city of Sfax, the Tunisian coast guard said Thursday.
Bodies of five people, including one child, were recovered in the area, Sfax Prosecutor Faouzi Masmoudi said. Masmoudi in a statement said that navy units had rescued 73 migrants after the three separate shipwrecks, but survivors’ accounts indicated that as many as 47 others were missing. Six of the missing were reported to be children. Masmoudi said the boats were made of iron and took on water as soon as they reached the open sea. Most of the migrants attempting to reach Italu leave from the area around Sfax, which is a port on Tunisia’s central coast. With the growing number of attempts, Masmoudi said the number of victims buried in Sfax’s cemeteries since January has reached almost 500, a significant jump from the last two years. The coast city recorded 355 burials in 2022 and 226 in 2021.