Published: 10:49, May 19, 2024
23 Tunisian migrants missing while sailing to Italy
By Xinhua
Migrants, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, are stopped by Tunisian Maritime National Guard at sea during an attempt to get to Italy, near the coast of Sfax, Tunisia, April 18, 2023. (PHOTO / AP) 

TUNIS - A total of 23 Tunisian illegal migrants have gone missing while sailing to Italy, according to a statement by the Tunisian National Guard released on Saturday.

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"The group of 23 Tunisian migrants left the coast of Korba in the northwestern province of Nabeul late at night on May 3 in an attempt to cross the Mediterranean to enter Italy illegally," the Tunisian National Guard said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

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"The 23 individuals' families reported losing contact with them on May 14 and 15," said the statement, adding that the search for the missing illegal migrants is still underway.

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Meanwhile, Tunisian security units have arrested five organizers of this immigration attempt.

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