Not less than 43 migrants drowned in a shipwreck off Tunisia as they tried to cross the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy, while another 84 were rescued.
According to the Tunisian Red Crescent, the boat had set off from Zuwara on Libya’s northwest coast, carrying migrants from Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, and Bangladesh, the humanitarian organization said.
However, it could not be known immediately how many Bangladeshis were rescued or whether Bangladeshis were among the drowned.
The incidents of Bangladeshi migrants heading for Europe ending up in the Mediterranean have become frequent in recent months.
At least three such incidents of shipwreck were reported in international media since June 25.
According to the Bangladesh embassy in Libya, at least 568 Bangladeshi migrants were rescued off the Tunisian coast in the past three months.
In recent incidents, migrants were found adrift in the Mediterranean which is widely used by traffickers as a route for illegal migration from North African countries to reach European countries including Italy, Greece, and Spain.
According to the UN, at least 760 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean between January 1 and May 31, compared to 1,400 last year.
Red Crescent official Mongi Slim said “the navy rescued 84 migrants and 43 others drowned in a boat that set off from Libya’s Zuwara towards Europe,”
Hundreds of thousands of people have made the perilous Mediterranean crossing in recent years, many of them fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.
According to Italian interior Ministry, almost 19,800 migrants have arrived since the beginning of the year against just over 6,700 in the same period last year.