Tunisia foils 2 illegal immigration attempts

LAMPEDUSA, ITALY - JUNE 21: Illegal immigrants wait to be taken on board by a boat of Italian Custom Police "Guardia di Finanza" on June 21, 2005 in Lampedusa, Italy. Tens of thousands of immigrants land on the Italian coast each year, most of them heading from north Africa on ramshackle boats.In the Mediterranean Sea between Malta and Tunisia, Lampedusa Island is one of the main gateways for illegal immigration from Africa into Europe. According to a report by Amnesty International, Illegal immigrants who land in Italy consistently allege they have been abused, holding centres are overcrowded and no legal assistance is offered. Italian authorities refused to give access to the centres to enable further investigations by Amnesty. The Amnesty International report says 15,647 people were held in the centres in 2004: a 9 per-cent increase on the previous year. (Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Tunisian migrants stand on the German NGO Sea-Eye migrant rescue ship ‘Alan Kurdi’ after they were informed they would disembark in Malta, in international waters off Malta in the central Mediterranean Sea. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Tunisia foiled two illegal immigration attempts to cross the Mediterranean to the Italian coast, the Tunisian Ministry of the Interior said on Sunday.

According to the ministry’s statement, a unit of the Tunisian Maritime Guard arrested 75 illegal immigrants of different African nationalities, off the coastal city of Sfax in southeastern Tunisia.

“The group of illegal immigrants included eight Tunisians,” it said.

They were transferred to the Sfax naval base and handed over to the National Guard in the region to receive legal procedures.

In another statement released on Sunday, the country’s Interior Ministry announced that the National Guard of Zarat in Gabes province had arrested 11 illegal immigrants including a woman and her minor child who attempted to leave the gulf of Gabes to Italy.

Thousands of illegal immigrants attempt to cross the Mediterranean every year as Tunisia is one of the main points of access to Europe through irregular channels.