TUNIS, Tunisia

Fourteen people died on Tuesday as two boats carrying irregular migrants sank off the coast of Sfax in southern Tunisia, according to a Tunisian spokesman.

The naval unit of the National Guard recovered the bodies of 14 migrants, including nine women, four children and a man, and rescued 140 others, the official Tunisian News Agency quoted Houssam al-Din Jebali, a spokesman for the Tunisian National Guard, as saying.

“The two boats sank off the coast of Karatin on the island of Kerkennah in Sfax,” Jebali said, pointing out that “the migrants were from different African nationalities, including two Tunisians.”

The spokesman said the National Guard rescued 46 people aboard the first boat, and 94 people from the other.

Jebali pointed out that search operations were still underway.

Irregular migration to Europe continues because of the economic and humanitarian crises experienced by most of the countries in the region.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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