The bodies of about 20 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa were recovered from waters off Tunisia, a legal official said, as a search was launched for 30 others. The coast guard recovered the bodies and a search was launched with divers.
Ali Ayadi, a regional health director spoke to the press: “The 22 bodies were received from the Habib Bourguiba University Hospital. The majority of them are sub-Saharans.”
Other migrants had told authorities the victims were probably passengers on a boat that set off for Italy last Thursday night with 53 people on board.
Illegal crossings from Tunisia to Europe jumped by more than 150 percent in January to April 2010 compared to the same period last year, according to the UN’s refugee agency.