Tunisian authorities yesterday thwarted 12 migration operations towards Italy and rescued 405 migrants after their boats sank in the Mediterranean.
The Coast Guard spokesman, Hossam El-Din El-Jebali, told reporters that the National Guard units in the country's southern city of Sfax and eastern city of Mahdia thwarted "11 illegal immigration operations and rescued 402 people."
El-Jebali pointed out that most of the rescued people were "African nationals."
On the same night, El-Jebali added, units in Tunisia's eastern city of Nabeul managed "to thwart an irregular migration operation and rescue 3 Tunisians after their boat sank."
Irregular migration has been growing in Tunisia in recent months due to poor economic conditions, as well as the ongoing armed conflicts in other African countries.
The number of missing persons in the Mediterranean since the start of the year has reached 544, according to the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights.
READ: 2,000+ Tunisian children 'irregular migrants' since start of this year