Multiple boats carrying migrants hoping to make dangerous sea journeys across the Mediterranean to Europe have sunk, with at least 13 people killed and dozens rescued.
At least 12 people died and another 10 were missing after four boats carrying 120 migrants sank off the coast of Tunisia in North Africa, security officials said on Saturday.
Ali Aayar, a lieutenant colonel in the Tunisian Coast Guard, said the migrants were rescued off the east coast city of Sfax.
In a separate incident, a child died and more than 40 people were rescued following when their boat sank off the coast of Lebanon’s northern port city of Tripoli.
The Lebanese Red Cross said in a tweet there were about 60 people on board. It had dispatched more than a dozen ambulances to the scene.
“We are still looking for the remainder of those who were on the boat, which included both Lebanese and Syrians,” Transport Minister Ali Hamie told Reuters.
An agitated crowd had begun to gather around the port by midnight, a witness reported, and ambulances could be seen ferrying people away from the coast towards the city.
The Lebanese government said in a statement that Prime Minister Najib Mikati was following the sinking of a boat carrying passengers that departed illegally from the Qalamoun area, south of Tripoli.
Lebanon’s economic crisis has pushed waves of Lebanese as well as Syrian refugees to attempt the sea journey to Europe on small dinghies.
Tripoli is Lebanon’s second city and is the poorest city on the Mediterranean, according to the United Nations’ Habitat program.