Sinkings leave dozens of migrants dead off Tunisian coast

TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisian fishermen and naval authorities have retrieved scores of bodies of drowned migrants and rescued more than 160 others in recent days after multiple boats sank while trying to reach Europe.

Coast guard and naval units found 49 bodies and saved 78 migrants after four boats sank off the coast of the city of Sfax between June 26 and July 3, national guard spokesman Houssameddine Jbabli told The Associated Press on Monday.

No details about the people trying to make the crossing were immediately available.

Separately, a boat carrying 127 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia capsized Saturday off the coastal town of Zarzis, close to the Libyan border. Authorities said 43 died and 84 were rescued by fishing crews and naval teams. The Tunisian Red Crescent said the boat left Libya’s coastal city of Zuwara on Friday to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward Italy.

Several migrant smugglers’ boats have capsized in the region recently, as attempts to make the dangerous crossing to Europe become more frequent amid warmer summer weather.