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At least 17 Bangladeshi migrants drowned after a boat off to Tunisia crashed while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy, while the coastguard has rescued more than 380, the Tunisian Red Crescent told Reuters on Wednesday.
He added that the boat had departed from Zuwara on Libya’s northwest coast, carrying migrants from Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Mali and Bangladesh.
Mongi Selim, a Red Crescent official, said the navy had rescued 380 migrants and 17 Bengalis had drowned in a boat sailing to Europe from Zuwara, Libya.
Several drowning incidents have occurred off the coast of Tunisia in recent months, while the pace of attempts to cross to Europe from Tunisia and Libya to Italy has increased as the weather improved.
Hundreds of thousands have made the perilous journey across the Mediterranean in recent years, many of them fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.
The number of migrants arriving in Italy has decreased in recent years, but has increased again in 2021. Italy is one of the main destinations for migrants to Europe.
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