TUNIS, 24 December 2020 – At least 20 migrants have died and 20 others are missing after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Tunisia, state media reports.
Tunisian coastguards say they rescued five migrants and have recovered at least 20 bodies.
There are fears that the 20 other migrants reported missing may be dead.
A spokesperson for the Tunisian National Guard, Ali Ayari, said the boat faced strong winds that may have contributed to the sinking.
The overloaded boat, with migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, was attempting to reach Italy.
Four pregnant women were among the migrants who died when their boat ran aground.
The coasts of Tunisia and Libya serve as departure points for thousands of African migrants trying each year to reach Europe.
Tunisia’s interior ministry said their services intercepted 8,581 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe between January and mid-September 2020.