Tunisian naval forces rescued 396 migrants from drowning after several of their boats capsized in the middle of the night while making the journey across the Mediterranean to reach Italy, the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday
More migrants have been attempting the dangerous crossing from the North African coast in recent weeks. Many of those setting off for a better life are from Syria, Bangladesh and other African countries, as well as Tunisians.
Twelve people remain missing from a boat accident near the Mahdia resort area south of the capital Tunis on Sunday – all of them Tunisian citizens.
On Friday, the Tunisian navy also rescued 98 people from distress on their way from Libya to Italy. Their boat had run out of fuel near the island of Djerba.
According to the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), some 7,000 migrants from Tunisia have reached the Italian coast since the beginning of the year. Half of them arrived in July alone. Dozens of lives are lost time and again on the Mediterranean route.