95 irregular migrants rescued off Tunisian coast

95 irregular immigrants from different nationalities were rescued when their boat broke down off the coast of Medenine province in the south of Tunisia.

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The Tunisian coast guard rescued 95 illegal migrants of different nationalities this Friday following damage that affected their boat off the south coast of the city of Zarzis, in the governorate of Medenine, in the southeastern part of the country.

Mongi Selim, head of the branch of the Red Crescent organization in Medenine, told that “a boat carrying 95 illegal migrants was rescued following damage near the coast of Zarzis.”

According to the Tunisian official, the migrant boat had set sail for European coasts last Thursday from the Libyan town of Sabratha.

Selim explained that the nationalities of the immigrants were as follows: “59 from Sudan, 17 from Syria, 7 from Egypt, 6 from Bangladesh, 3 from Guinea, 2 from Ghana and 1 immigrant from Tunisia.”

Selim added that “the migrants are now in the commercial port of Zarzis, and they will be transferred to one of the places set up to pass the mandatory quarantine period.”

The southern coast of Tunisia is the scene of almost daily rescues of irregular migrants, often following damage to their boats in the middle of the Mediterranean, on the sea route between Libya and the Italian island of Lampedusa.

The rates of illegal immigration via Tunisia have increased since the revolution of January 2011, favored due to security and instability at the time. However, the numbers quickly dropped after the authorities tightened the noose on migratory networks.

Recently, Tunisia has experienced an alarming escalation in the rate of illegal immigration to Europe, particularly to the Italian coasts, in a context of economic and political crises in the country and in various countries in the region.

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