Tunisia intercepts 72 Italy-bound migrants off coast

Tunisia intercepted 72 migrants who attempted to cross the Mediterranean to enter Italy illegally, the Tunisian Ministry of Defense said Tuesday.

The migrants were stopped in two operations and are of various African nationalities, the ministry said in a statement, adding that 42 of them were rescued by a Tunisian coastguard unit off the coastal city of Zarzis in northeastern Tunisia.

The migrants admitted they had sailed from the Libyan city of Zuwara a night earlier, according to the statement.

In another operation, the National Guard of Kerkennah Island in Sfax Province stopped 30 migrants.