July 12, 2019 / 12:47 PM / 9 days ago

More bodies found in Tunisia migrant ship sinking feared to have killed more than 80

The body of a migrant washed up after a boat sank floats in the water off the coast of Zarzis, Tunisia July 12, 2019 in this still image taken from a video. REUTERS TV via REUTERS

TUNIS (Reuters) - More bodies were found from a ship packed with migrants that sank off the Tunisian coast last week, bringing the official death toll to 72 in a disaster feared to have killed more than 80 people, the Tunisian Red Crescent said on Friday.

The boat capsized after setting off for Europe from neighbouring Libya. Four survivors have been rescued, who told Tunisian coast guards the ship was carrying around 86 people.

The coast of western Libya is one of the main departure points for African migrants hoping to reach Europe.

The International Organization for Migration’s Missing Migrants Project estimates 682 migrants have died in the Mediterranean so far in 2019.

Thousands of migrants have died in each of the past several years making the journey, although the numbers this year have so far been lower due in part to European-backed efforts to halt people smuggling from Libya.

Reporting by Tarek Amara; Editing by Peter Graff

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