65 migrants drowned today when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the Tunisian coast after they had left Libya hoping to reach Europe, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said.
It was one the deadliest shipwrecks involving migrants trying to reach Europe this year.
“This is a tragic and terrible reminder of the risks still faced by those who attempt to cross the Mediterranean,” UNHCR Special Envoy for the Mediterranean Vincent Cochetel said in a statement.
In the first four months of 2019, 164 people are known to have died on the route, a smaller number but higher death rate than in previous years, with one dying for every three who reach European shores, UNHCR said.
UNHCR said the sunken boat had taken to the sea on Thursday from neighbouring Libya, where renewed warfare between rival factions has gripped the capital Tripoli in the past five weeks.