Dozens of African migrants are feared dead after their boat capsized off the coast of Tunisia after setting to Europe from Libya, a government source and the Tunisian Red Crescent said.
Red Crescent official Mongi Slim spoke to Reuters and said that some of the four initial survivors told the Tunisian coast guard that the boat had sunk off the town of Zarzis.
Slim confirmed that one of the four later died in hospital while 82 others are still missing.
Libya’s west coast is a main departure point for African migrants hoping to reach Europe with the help of human traffickers, though numbers have dropped due to an Italian-led effort to disrupt smuggling networks and support the Libyan coast guard.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that between January and June 2019, 555 migrants have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea.
In 2018, there were 924 deaths while the peak was in 2016 when 2,911 people died.