North Africa: Fifty Six Tunisians Survive Shipwreck Near Lampedusa

Tunis — A makeshift boat carrying 110 Tunisian illegal migrants sank, on Thursday night to Friday, off the Italian island of Lampedusa, Sicily, South of Italy.

According to a communiqué of the Foreign Ministry, 56 of the shipwreck victims were rescued, while operations to find the missing are carried on.The ship had sailed from the coasts of Sfax two days ago.

"The Foreign Ministry is closely following the incident, in co-ordination with specialised Italian authorities," the communiqué reads, specifying that a representative of Tunisia's Consulate in Palermo was sent to the scene.

A 20 km2 island, Lampedusa is located at less than 100 kms of the North African coasts and is the major gateway for migrants from Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.

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