July 4 (UPI) — More than 80 people are missing after a boat carrying migrants sunk off the coast of Tunisia late Wednesday.
Three Malians were rescued and a fourth migrant died later in a hospital. The inflatable boat, which capsized near the town of Zarzis, set out from Zuwara, Libya, where migrants often embark on dangerous journeys in hope of reaching Europe. More than 80 people are feared dead.
Fishermen who came across the sinking boat were unable to find more than four people.
The sinking came after an airstrike on a migrant center in Tripoli, Libya, killed at least 40 people. The Government of National Accord blamed the Libyan National Army for the attack as conflict with the United Nations-backed Libyan transition government continues. The country has seen persistent internal conflict, leading to the death of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
A group of 131 refugees were evacuated out of Libya to Niger in June, the UN Refugee Agency said. In May, 65 migrants died when a boat sank off the coast of Tunisia.
A record number of people worldwide, 41.3 million, were displaced from their home countries because of conflict and violence as of the end of 2018, according to a report from the Norwegian Refugee Council.
In the first six months of this year, 555 migrants died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea, following 924 deaths in 2018, according to the International Organization for Migration.