At least 43 migrants, including Bangladeshis, are missing while 84 were rescued after a boat heading towards Europe sank off the coast of Tunisia on Saturday, the Tunisian Red Crescent said.
Mongi Slim, head of the organisation, told The Associated Press that the boat, which was carrying 127 migrants, left Libya's coastal city of Zuwara on Friday to cross the Mediterranean Sea towards Italy.
He said 46 Sudanese, 16 Eritreans and 12 Bangladeshis were among the migrants.
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The defence ministry's spokesperson, Mohamed Zekri, said the 84 migrants were rescued by fishermen. He declined to confirm the drowning of the other migrants.
Libya is a frequent departure point for migrants making the dangerous Mediterranean Sea crossing. Several shipwrecks from smugglers' boats carrying migrants have occurred in recent weeks, as attempts to reach Europe become more frequent amid warmer summer weather.
Last week, Tunisian coast guards found seven bodies on the beaches of Djerba, an island off the southern coast. They were buried at the cemetery for migrants in Zarzis, Tunisia, who perished in the Mediterranean Sea.
The head of the Red Crescent, meanwhile, launched an urgent call about the fate of hundreds of migrants who escaped death as his organisation has no means to provide housing.
"The three centres in Zarzis are full and cannot shelter more people. We also have 380 other migrants in confinement in Djerba with nowhere to go," Slim said.