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Death toll in collision between Tunisian navy and migrant boat reaches 34
October 16, 2017 / 3:30 AM / 2 months ago

Death toll in collision between Tunisian navy and migrant boat reaches 34

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia’s navy has recovered 26 more bodies of Tunisian migrants who drowned when their boat sank last week in a collision with a navy vessel, bringing the death toll from the incident to 34.

The incident has caused anger in Tunisia where the families of some of the migrants who drowned protested in two towns. In the southern town of Kebili, protesters burned a local government building last week.

Last Monday, the navy recovered eight bodies after the collision 54 km (33 miles) off the coast, while 38 were rescued.

The navy found 16 more bodies on Monday after recovering 10 more on Sunday, a navy spokesman said.

According to testimony from survivors, there were between 70 and 80 people on board, the International Organization for Migration has said.

The number of migrants trying to reach Italy by boat has shot up in recent weeks as unemployed young people seek to escape poverty.

Tunisia has been praised as an example of democratic transition since the overthrow of former president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 but young many young people lack job opportunities.

Reporting by Tarek Amara; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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