A boat carrying 48 migrants sank in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa on Saturday, resulting in the death of one person while 22 others are still missing, the Tunisian navy has said.
Bad weather interrupted rescue operations around 100 km (62 miles) north-west of Lampedusa, the navy said, adding that the body of one migrant had been pulled from the water, while 22 were missing.
The migrants said their boat had set off overnight Friday to Saturday in the Sidi Mansour area of Sfax province, originally with 48 on board.
So far 25 African migrants were rescued, including six women, who were taken to Tunisia.
Tunisia is just a few hundred kilometres from mainland Europe, and has long been a launch pad for illegal migration to the continent.
The number of migrants trying to cross to Europe from Tunisia has been on the rise.
In the past year, there has been a surge in boats trying to cross the Mediterranean, according to EU border control agency Frontex. (Source: The Guardian)