Five migrants drown in a shipwreck off Tunisia
Authorities said Saturday that five migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa drowned and five others went missing after their boat capsized off the coast of Tunisia en route to Europe.
According to Faouzi Masmoudi, the district attorney for the port city of Sfax, the Tunisian coastguard rescued around 20 others from the Mediterranean.
Masmoudi added that boats were still scouring the waters off Sfax for any survivors.
Tunisia's coastline is less than 150 kilometers (roughly 90 miles) from the Italian island of Lampedusa, making it a popular departure point for migrants willing to risk the perilous sea crossing.
According to the FTDES rights group, which monitors migration issues, over 23,500 migrants of various nationalities were intercepted off the coast of Tunisia between January and September of last year.
During the same time period, more than 500 people died or went missing at sea, according to the report.
According to Tunisian authorities, the coastguard is under pressure to stop the flow but lacks the necessary resources.
The central Mediterranean route, which includes boat launches from neighboring Libya, is the world's most dangerous migration route.