Over 40 migrants drown off the coast of Tunisia, as European migrant crisis intensifies

The Tunisian government have called on European leaders to help tackle poverty in Africa, as an increased number of migrants flee their country by risking their lives crossing the Med on boats

The boat sank off the coast of Tunisia, the country's El-Kitif port in the Tunisian town of Ben Guerdane in only  40 kilometres west of the Libyan border. This picture shows former migrants travelling by boat in 2015. (Picture: Getty Images)
The boat sank off the coast of Tunisia, the country's El-Kitif port in the Tunisian town of Ben Guerdane in only 40 kilometres west of the Libyan border. This picture shows former migrants travelling by boat in 2015. (Picture: Getty Images)

Over 40 migrants have drowned off the coast of Tunisia, as increasing numbers of migrants risk their life crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

Forty-three people died when their boat sank due to a failed engine, a further 84 were rescued by the Tunisian navy, the Tunisian Red Crescent says.

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The boat carrying the 127 people had set off from the Libyan port of Zuwara, in an attempt to escape their life in north Africa

Tunisia has saw an influx of migrants, as it is situated 40 kilometres west of the Libyan border. 354 migrants were rescued from two boats which broke down as they headed from Libya to Italy, the Red Crescent in 2015 (Picture: Getty Images)

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European Migrant Crisis

The boat set sail on Monday night and reportedly was carrying people from Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Bangladesh, the Red Crescent said.

The rescue mission took place near the Tunisian fishing port of Zarzis, Tunisia's defence ministry claims survivors were aged between three and 40.

They received food and water, as the Tunisian Red Crescent attempted to house them so as they could isolate due to coronavirus.

Libya has become a popular transit point for migrants attempting to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea, but Tunisia has also become a major hub.

Tunisia’s rise in migrants has resulted in the country calling on European leaders to do more to relieve poverty in Africa, in a bid to reduce the number of people fleeing famine and poor health care.

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It has also been reported that the number of migrants risking their life to cross the Med has increased due to the summer weather.

In June, Kent County Council (KCC) in England warned the Home Office it had reached capacity to take in lone children left abandoned at the port in Dover.

Instead, unaccompanied children will now remain at the Kent Intake Unit (KIU) in Dover, which has previously been described as offering “abhorrent” living conditions.

KCC said this is the second time the area’s social services department has been overwhelmed by the number of children arriving alone by boat, as the European Migrant crisis intensifies.