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Coastguard rescues 48 illegal migrants

Tunis: Tunisian Coastguard have rescued 48 illegal migrants trying to reach Europe from Libya. The Coastguard detained the migrants while they were trying to cross sea in a makeshift boat.

The Tunisian authorities said that the migrants — among them 15 from Mali, 15 Syrians and four Egyptians — were intercepted and rescued off Zarzis when their boat broke down.

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Earlier on Thursday, the Tunisian Navy   had rescued 28 migrants aged between 14 and 33 off Zarzis. They had also departed from Libya.

Libya has turned it into a major launchpad for migrants attempting to reach Europe by sea. Tunisia is a major transit point of illegal migrants to Europe as it is situated just 140 kilometres from the Italian island of Lampedusa.

As per the data released by Tunisian authorities, Tunisian coast guard intercepted about 19,500 illegal migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean in the first nine months of this year. The IOM says that 23,000 people have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean since 2014 while trying to reach Europe — including nearly 1,700 this year.


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