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Over 250 migrants rescued by Tunisian navy are in quarantine

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FATHI NASRI/AFP or licensors

Tunisia

More than 250 migrants, the vast majority coming from Bangladesh, are taken to the port of Ben Guerdane, in southern Tunisia, after their boat suffered damage while they were trying to reach Europe from Libya.

The migrants were transferred to a hotel on the island of Djerba, to spend the mandatory quarantine period after they were rescued by the Tunisian navy coastguard.

Tunisia has reported frequent rescue operations of migrants on its southern coasts, especially between the sea route between Libya and the Italian island of Lampedusa.

For the past seven years, the bodies of hundreds of illegal migrants have been reportedly seen washed up on the southern coasts of Tunisia after drowning in the Mediterranean Sea.

Illegal immigration rates through Tunisia have increased since the January 2011 revolution, partly due to the insecurity that prevailed at the time.

At least 700 people have died trying to cross the central Mediterranean this year, up until May 17, the UN's refugee agency UNHCR said.

Numbers leaving Libya have also increased significantly, with 11,000 departures from January to April 2021, over 70 percent more than in the same period last year, according to UNHCR.

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