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17 Tunisian illegal migrants missing while sailing to Italy

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-02-13 02:19

This file photo taken on Aug 17 shows the Spanish migrant rescue NGO ship Open Arms off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa. [Photo/Agencies]

TUNIS -- Seventeen Tunisian illegal migrants have gone missing while sailing to Italy, the private radio station Mosaique FM reported on Monday.

"The group of 17 Tunisian migrants left the coast of Cap Angela in the northern province of Bizerte late at night on Feb 5 in an attempt to cross the Mediterranean to enter Italy illegally," Houcemeddine Jbabli, the spokesman of the Tunisia National Guard, was quoted by Mosaique FM as saying.

Jbabli added that some of the 17 individuals' families reported losing contact with them after they entered Italian waters.

The search for the missing illegal migrants is still underway, Jbabli said without giving further details.

Tunisia, located in the central Mediterranean, is one of the main departure points for illegal migrants heading to Europe. Despite the strict measures taken by the Tunisian authorities, illegal immigration from the Tunisian coast has been on the rise.

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