AT least 29 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa have died while trying to cross the Mediterranean to Italy.
The Tunisian Coast Guard disclosed this on Sunday, March 26.
Tunisia has taken over from Libya as a main departure point for people fleeing poverty and conflict in Africa and the Middle East in the hope of a better life in Europe.
Two boats conveying the migrants sank off the coast of Tunisia, bringing the number of sunk boats in the last week to five.
A senior official in the national guard Houssem Jebabli, told Reuters that the Tunisian Coast Guard had also rescued 11 people off the coast of Mahdia, further north.
The Coast Guard said it had stopped about 80 boats heading for Italy in the past four days and detained more than 3,000 migrants, mostly from Sub-Saharan African countries.
The latest loss of life comes amidst a clampdown on undocumented Sub-Saharan Africans by the Tunisian authorities.
According to United Nations data, at least 12,000 migrants who reached Italy this year set sail from Tunisia, compared with 1,300 in the same period of 2022.