December 24th – Comprehensive foreign media reports that Tunisian authorities said that on the 24th local time, a boat carrying illegal immigrants sank in the waters near the province of Sfax in the country, killing dozens of people. It is believed that as many as 20 people are still missing.
The Tunisian navy is searching. At present, five survivors have been rescued. .
According to AFP, Mohamed Zekri, spokesman of the Tunisian Ministry of Defense, on the 24th, the Coast Guard salvaged the bodies of 20 immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa in Tunisian waters. However, Khaled Hayouni, spokesman of the Ministry of the Interior, said that the bodies of 15 immigrants had been found.
Zekri also told AFP that five migrants on board had been rescued and the search operation was still ongoing.
Zekri also quoted survivors as saying that the migrant smuggling ship carrying about 40 or 50 people was supposed to go to Italy, according to the Associated Press.
Ali Ayari, spokesman of the Tunisian National Guard, said that the ship in the accident was overloaded and in poor condition. On the morning of the 24th, strong winds were encountered, which may be the cause of the shipwreck.