The sea washes the bodies of Syrian migrants onto a Tunisian beach

Tunisian authorities found a number of bodies of Syrian migrants who drowned in the Mediterranean, but did not specify their number.

The authorities had announced in a previous statement yesterday that the sea had washed away 17 bodies off the coast of northeastern Tunisia, "of migrants trying to reach Europe illegally," according to Tunisian Civil Protection spokesman Moez Teraa.

The spokesman added that the bodies "were found off the coast of the tribal homeland, including Syrians."

Taraa explained that the sea dumped all the bodies between Friday and Saturday, and that the majority of the drowned came from African countries, without being able to give other details about the point of departure of the migrants or the reason for their drowning, according to Agence France-Presse.

Tunisia and Libya are major departure points for migrants who dream of a better life in Europe, often fleeing conflict or poverty.

15,671 migrants, including 584 women, were able to reach Italian territory from the Tunisian coast in 2021, compared to 12,883 migrants, including 353 women, in 2020, according to the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights, which specializes in migration issues.

More than 123,000 migrants arrived in Italy in 2021, compared to about 95,000 the previous year, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Nearly 2,000 migrants were missing or drowned in the Mediterranean last year, compared to 1,401 in 2020, according to the International Organization for Migration. 

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