Death Toll From Migrant Shipwreck off Tunisia Rises to 17

Migrants on an overcrowded wooden boat await rescue by the German NGO migrant rescue ship Sea-Watch 3 and the French NGO SOS Mediterranee migrant rescue ship Ocean Viking, during a rescue operation in international waters off the coast of Tunisia, in the western Mediterranean Sea, August 1, 2021. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

The death toll from a migrant shipwreck off Tunisia on Friday has risen to 17 people, most of them Syrians, as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to Italy, a civil protection official told Reuters on Saturday.

He said the coastguard recovered five bodies on Saturday, after finding 12 on Friday. A search was still under way.

In recent months, several people have drowned off the Tunisian coast, with an increase in the frequency of attempted crossings to Europe from Tunisia and Libya towards Italy.

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