TUNIS, Tunisia 

Tunisian coast guards on Thursday rescued five people and recovered bodies of 20 migrants from the sub-Saharan Africa after a boat capsized off the coast of Tunisia.

According to a security officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity in the Sfax governorate, southeast of the capital Tunis, a fishing boat carrying 40 African migrants capsized near the shores of Sfax.

He said five people were rescued, while 15 migrants who had been on board were still missing.

The security officer added that the boat’s owner and his assistant are probably Tunisian who escaped after the boat capsized.

Since 2011, the irregular migration from Tunisian shores increased towards Europe where 22,000 migrants made their way secretly towards the Italian shores, according to Tunisian figures. 

*Ahmed Asmar in Ankara contributed to this report

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