19 bodies found off Tunisia coast after migrants try to cross Mediterranean Sea to Europe

April 25, 2024 by No Comments

On Tuesday, the bodies of 19 people were recovered off the coast of Tunisia near the port cities of Mahdia and Sfax, the country’s second largest city where migrants have recently clashed with law enforcement. The Tunisian coast guard said in a statement that they had recovered the bodies. Despite risks, migrants continue attempting the treacherous voyage from North Africa to Europe, traveling in boats from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya to Italy, Greece, Malta and Spain’s Canary Islands. More than 49,000 people have come to Europe by sea this year, including over 7,000 from Tunisia to Italy. Many more have attempted the journey, including thousands who have been intercepted by North African authorities and an estimated 473 believed to be dead or missing, according to the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration. Politicians on both sides of the Mediterranean have largely focused their migration policies on combating human trafficking and dismantling smuggling networks. Tunisian authorities said on Tuesday that they had arrested five smugglers. Human trafficking charges typically carry lengthy sentences of up to 20 years.