The boat sank 10 kilometres from the coastline near the city of Sfax, a member of the coastguard said. Rescue operations are continuing.
Romania is facing a rush of migrants who are making their way towards western Europe after neighbouring Hungary built a wall at its border with Serbia, making it harder for asylum seekers to travel onwards.
With increasing pressure to create jobs for Saudis, the government has been clearing out the excess workforce comprised of millions of foreigners.
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