One dead, two flee as migrant boat sinks off Tunisia

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A boat carrying migrants trying to reach Italy from Tunisia capsized overnight, killing one person, a security source in the north African country said on Sunday.

The makeshift vessel transporting the young Tunisians from Zarzis, in the south of the country, had been at sea for about 21 hours, said a source in the local security services.

It overturned near the Tunisian island of Djerba at around 03:00, and soon after fishermen raised the alarm and the National Guard intervened, the Guard's spokesman Houssemeddine Jebabli said.

The body of one migrant was recovered, seven were rescued, and two other people fled, he said, adding they were suspected of being the boat's captain and the person who organised the crossing.

While their number has decreased, many Tunisians still risk their lives by trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Italy in search of work or a better life.

More than 4 500 Tunisians arrived illegally in Italy between January and September, compared with 6 092 for the whole of 2017, according to the EU-member's interior ministry.

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