At least 19 refugees and migrants from sub-Saharan Africa have drowned off the coast of Tunisia while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Italy.
As per reports Italian ANSA news agency, more than 2,000 asylum seekers had landed on the island of Lampedusa in less than 24 hours. The agency called the Saturday arrivals "record-breaking."
According to Romdhane Ben Amor of the Forum for Social and Economic Rights (FTDES), the deaths happened when the boat carrying the migrants and refugees capsized near the coast of Mahdia, Tunisia, after setting off from the beaches of Sfax.
At least five boats carrying migrants and refugees have drowned in the last four days off the southern city of Sfax, leaving 67 people missing and nine people dead.
The most recent catastrophe occurs when sub-Saharan Africans without documentation are being detained by Tunisian police.
FTDES figures show that well than 14,000 refugees and migrants were stopped from leaving Tunisia by the coast guard during the first three months of this year, as compared to 2,900 during the same period last year.
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