Migrants stranded in boat off Tunisia

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An Egyptian rescue boat carrying about 75 migrants have been left stranded off Tunisian coast for 12 days after authorities refused to let them disembark.

The migrants were rescued in Tunisian waters, but authorities in the governorate of Medinine say its migrant centres are too overcrowded to allow them to come ashore, leaving the vessel 25 km from the coastal city of Zarzis.

According to the Red Crescent, most of the stranded persons – 64 of them are from Bangladesh while the rest are from Morocco, Sudan and Egypt.

A government source said the migrants had refused food and medical aid and were demanding that they be allowed to cross into Europe.

Also, Red Crescent official Mongi Slim said doctors had reached the boat to provide some medical help, but others had repeatedly refused any aid.

“After 12 days at sea, the migrants are in a bad condition,” he told Reuters.

At least 65 migrants drowned last month when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the Tunisian coast after they had left Libya hoping to reach Europe.




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