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14 African migrants die as boat sinks off Tunisian coast

Migrants use an inflatable boat as they attempt to enter Greece from Turkey by crossing the Maritsa river near the Pazarkule border gate in Edirne, Turkey, February 29, 2020. (Emrah Gurel/AP)
Migrants use an inflatable boat as they attempt to enter Greece from Turkey by crossing the Maritsa river near the Pazarkule border gate in Edirne, Turkey, February 29, 2020. (Emrah Gurel/AP)

Fourteen African migrants, including nine women and four children, perish at dawn off the Tunisian coast after a boat carrying 93 people sank.

The spokesman for the Tunisian National Guard, Houssameddine Jebabli, tells the AP that their bodies were recovered by relief units who came to the scene of the tragedy, four miles from the port of Sfax in southern Tunisia.

Jebabli says that a second boat also ran aground in the same area, noting that in total teams have so far rescued 139 migrants, all of them from sub-Saharan countries apart from two Tunisians.

Jebabli attributes the accidents to the dilapidated state of boats borrowed by the migrants and and probably to their being overloaded.

He says the death toll could grow as the search of the area by units of the National Guard continues with the help of amphibious teams.

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