A boat smuggling African migrants to Europe sinks in the Mediterranean Sea, killing not less than 20 people while up to 20 others are still believed to be missing, according to Tunisian authorities.
Tunisian coast guard boats and local fishermen retrieved the bodies while also rescuing five people off the coastal city of Sfax in Central Tunisia, as reported by The Associated Press.
The boat, which was carrying about 40-50 migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the survivors, was in poor condition and strong winds might have played part in the sinking.
The International Organization for migration has recorded an estimate of 1,111 deaths or disappearance in the Mediterranean this year.
An increasing number of Tunisians are leaving their country for Italy as a result of the bad economic situations in their country. 38% of 34,001 migrants who got to Italy this year were Tunisian. Migrants from Bangladeshis Ivory Coast, Egypt, Pakistan, and Algeria also make up the lists.
Tunisian authorities say they have intercepted several migrant smuggling boats in recent times but attempts to cross the Mediterranean has been on the increase, especially between the Sfax region and the Italian island of Lampedusa.
Efforts made by Rome to negotiate with Tunis to put an end to the illegal crossings have not yielded any positive results.
Tunisian navy units were searching for any more survivors.