Tunisian authorities have thwarted 23 attempts by irregular migrants to cross the Mediterranean into Europe and rescued about 652 people off the coast of Sfax in one night, Anadolu reported.
The Tunisian National Guard said in a statement yesterday that the National Guard Marine District in Sfax thwarted 23 attempts to cross the maritime borders into Europe.
“After hearing the distress calls, about 652 irregular migrants were rescued, including 242 Tunisians and 410 people from sub-Saharan Africa,” the statement added.
Sfax is an important point for irregular migrants to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa, which is about 130 kilometres from the Tunisian coast.
The Tunisian National Guard said the boats carrying the irregular migrants capsized at sea.
Overall, about 118,500 boat migrants have arrived in Italy since the start of the year, according to interior ministry data last updated on Tuesday morning. The figure is almost double what was recorded in the same period in 2022.