More than 70 migrants missing after boat sinks off Tunisia

TUNIS -More than 70 people are missing in the Mediterranean after a boat crowded with migrants headed for Europe from Libya sank off neighbouring Tunisia, the coastguard said Wednesday. The boat, which was carrying around 100 people when it put to sea, capsized off the Tunisian port of Sfax, with coastguard and navy units able to pull 24 people out of the water, National Guard spokesman Houcem Eddine Jebabli said. “According to preliminary results of the investigation, an inflatable boat left the coast of Zawara in Libya on Sunday night with around 100 people on board,” he said, adding that so far one body had been recovered.  They were “of various African and Asian nationalities”, he added. Libya has become a major launchpad for migrants seeking to reach Europe on what has become the world’s deadliest migration route. Many end up in Italy, some 300 kilometres (180 miles) away, but many others die at sea when their often unseaworthy boats capsize or break down.

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