Tunisia finds 150 bodies from refugee vessels


The bodies of 150 African refugees fleeing turmoil in Libya have been recovered off the Tunisian coast after the vessels carrying them illegally to Europe got into difficulty, a UN official said on Friday. “Up to now 150 bodies of refugees have been found off the shores of Kerkennah,” Carole Laleve, an official with the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, told Reuters, referring to a Tunisian island. “Search operations are continuing.” The boats encountered problems on Tuesday about 20 km (12 miles) off Kerkennah as they headed for Italy, Tunisia’s state news agency TAP has reported. Tunisian coastguards and military rescued 570 people, but many others went into the water when a stampede to get off the small fishing boats — combined with the effect of rough seas — capsized some of the vessels, a Tunisian official said. In all about 250 people were reported on Thursday as missing from the vessels.