The Tunisian authorities on Thursday rescued 267 migrants stranded at Mediterranean sea trying to cross into Europe from the neighbouring Libya. The migrants included 264 people from Bangladesh and 3 from Egypt, said the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
The Tunisian coast guard said that the migrants were stranded in the sea after their boat broke down, reports AFP. The stranded people were brought to the shore by the Tunisian coast guard on the Ben Guerdane port in Southern Tunisia near the border with Libya. They were handed over to the IOM and the Red Crescent. They have been placed in quarantine at a hotel on the Tunisian island of Djerba, said IOM.
Since January, more than 1000 migrants set off from Libya hoping to reach Europe. They have ended up in Tunisia and the number of departures is rising, said the IOM. AFP quoted UNHCR that the deteriorating condition of migrants in Libya and Tunisia are forcing many people to undertake the risky journey to cross over to Europe. According to the UN at least 760 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean between January 1 and May 31 this year.
By Rajesh Jha