By Helene Fung
A boat carrying migrants hoping to escape warring Libya capsized in the Mediterranean Sea about 40 miles off the coast of Tunisia, killing at least 65 people on board, making it one of the deadliest shipwrecks this year involving migrants trying to make their way to Europe.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that the Tunisian navy brought 16 survivors rescued by local fishermen to the coast at Zarzis; one of them was immediately taken to hospital. The boat had sunk, and so far only three bodies have been recovered.
Libya’s west coast is a main departure point for African migrants hoping to reach Europe by paying human traffickers.
According to UN agency the International Organisation for Migration, 2,297 migrants died or went missing in the Mediterranean last year out of a total of 116,959 people who reached Europe by sea.