Six women and six children were among 13 sub-Saharan African migrants and asylum seekers found dead off the Tunisian coast after two vessels capsized while trying to make it to Italy.
Tunisian authorities have recovered the bodies of 13 asylum seekers, including six women and six children, after their boats capsized trying to make the dangerous sea crossing to Italy, a court official has said.
The asylum seekers were all from sub-Saharan Africa and had set off in two boats, said Mourad Turki on Saturday, spokesperson for the court in the Mediterranean port city of Sfax.
Rescuers pulled 37 migrants from the water on Friday and Saturday but a dozen more remained unaccounted for, he said.
Tunisia and neighbouring Libya are key departure points for migrants and asylum seekers aiming to reach European shores, often in vessels that are barely seaworthy.
The United Nations' refugee agency, UNHCR, has said that around 1,300 refugees drowned or went missing in the central Mediterranean in 2021, making it the world's deadliest migration route.
The International Organization for Migration estimates that more than 18,000 refugees and migrants have died or disappeared while attempting to make the crossing since 2014.