Migrants in the Mediterranean Sea in September 2019 -
Renata Brito / AP / SIPA
Nearly 157 migrants attempted to reach Europe illegally from Tunisia over the weekend.
The Tunisian coast guard intercepted them in the Mediterranean.
"On Saturday, 54 illegal migrants were rescued," said a regional spokesperson for the Maritime National Guard.
Two people died.
Their bodies were found offshore.
The migrants are all men.
Three were Syrians and the other Tunisians.
Attempts to leave Tunisia to join a country irregularly were very numerous in 2020. About 12,000 Tunisians have landed in Italy, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Many Tunisians want to join Europe
This is the first time since 2011 that so many departures of this kind have been recorded.
That year had been marked by revolution, while the past year was associated with the pandemic, which again created political crises and uncertainties about the future.
Tunisians were the most numerous to try to reach Europe in 2020. In 2021, of the 3,800 migrants who arrived illegally in Italy between January 1 and February 21, 1,000 arrived from Tunisia and 2,500 from Libya.
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Twenty-eight migrants intercepted in the Mediterranean, off the coast of Tunisia