Migrant boat sinks off Tunisia, at least eight dead

Italian Coast Guard rescues 90 off Malta, but Valletta closes

17 September, 16:50

    (ANSAmed) - TUNISI, SEPTEMBER 17 - A fishing boat with migrants aboard has sunk off the Tunisian coast of El Aouabed in the Sfax governorate, said National Guard spokesman Housseddine Jebabli on local radio station Mosaique FM.

    He said nine migrants were rescued and 14 are missing.

    Alarm Phone said on Twitter that Tunisian authorities recovered at least eight bodies at sea and cited "Tunisian sources" without specifying if the victims were from the sunken fishing boat.

    "More deaths are expected. Local fishermen and the Tunisian coastguards are still searching," Alarm Phone tweeted.

    On Monday night upon the request of Maltese authorities, Italian Coast Guard units rescued a small boat with 90 migrants aboard in waters that Malta is responsible for.

    Following the rescue, the coast guard asked Valletta to send a patrol boat to transfer the migrants, but Malta has thus far refused.

    The Italian ships are, however, heading towards the island.

    (ANSAmed).

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