Fifty illegal immigrants die off Tunisia
Fifty illegal immigrants have died in an attempt to reach Europe from North Africa, the Tunisian Arab-language daily Assabah-Ousbouii reported Monday.
The victims, all of them African, died of hunger or thirst or froze to death after the small boat in which they were travelling apparently ran out of petrol several nautical miles from the Italian island of Lampedusa, situated about 400 kilometres from Libya, reported dpa.
The five-metre-long boat was carrying 66 passengers, mostly from Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia and Morocco. After it ran out of fuel, the boat drifted for five days. During that time 47 people died, and their bodies were tossed into the sea.
The boat ultimately came ashore on a beach near the Tunisian port of Monastir carrying three corpses and 16 exhausted survivors, the daily reported.
The North African coast is a popular embarkation point for Africans attempting to reach Europe illegally.