Baby among two killed after migrant boat capsizes off Tunisia

An eight-month-old baby and an adult have tragically died after a migrant boat capsized off the coast of Gabes, Tunisia. The boat, carrying 20 Tunisian migrants, sank at around 2 am just 120 meters away from the beach. Thirteen people were rescued, but there are still migrants missing at sea.

The coastguard has recovered the bodies of a 20-year-old man and an infant. Authorities in Gabes have initiated an investigation to determine the circumstances surrounding this tragedy. This latest incident adds to the grim statistic provided by the International Organisation for Migration, revealing that over 1,800 individuals have lost their lives this year while attempting to cross the treacherous Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.

Tunisia has become a significant entry point for migrants and refugees seeking to make this perilous journey, which has been recognized as the deadliest route in the world. The coastal city of Sfax, located 80 miles from the Italian island of Lampedusa, has experienced a recent surge in migrant crossings, with 41 deaths reported in a shipwreck just last Wednesday.

Sadly, this tragedy follows another incident in the English Channel, where at least six individuals lost their lives after a small boat capsized on Saturday morning. French and British authorities joined forces to rescue dozens of people after receiving distress calls about a boat in distress. The search is ongoing for two missing migrants, with multiple boats and merchant vessels involved in the operation.

Survivors’ accounts suggest that at least 65 people were on board the sinking boat, with 58 being rescued from the waters. Six individuals, one of whom was airlifted to a hospital, were found to be in critical condition but were later pronounced dead. In total, 22 people were dropped off in Dover by UK crews, while 36 others were taken to the port of Calais on a French boat.

The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, expressed her condolences for the tragic loss of life in the Channel and stated that she had spoken with the Border Force teams who have been assisting the French authorities in their response to the incident.

These devastating incidents highlight the urgency and complexity of the migrant crisis, as people risk their lives in search of safety and a better future. Efforts must continue to address the root causes of migration, provide support for those in need, and strengthen cooperation among nations to prevent further loss of life in these dangerous journeys.

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