At least 46 people drowned off the coast of Tunisia in a boat heading to Europe on June 3rd. While hundreds have been rescued, dozens are still believed to be missing, said the Tunisian Ministry of Defence.
According to the Associated Press, the Tunisian authorities have said there were about 180 migrants in the boat. 68 of them were rescued near Kerkennah island off Tunisia's eastern coast. Among the rescued are 61 Tunisians and seven people from other countries.
Tunisia is becoming an increasingly popular route to Europe for migrants and refugees fleeing economic hardship and insecurity in the African continent and the Middle East.
In Turkey, officials reported that nine people, including six children, drowned yesterday June 3rd, when their boat sank in the Mediterranean off the shores of the town of Demre, Antalya.
Coast guards rescued four people who were in the boat and a fifth person was saved by passing fishermen.
A deal between Turkey and the European Union in 2016 has dramatically reduced the numbers of migrants coming into Greece across the Mediterranean. The deal sparked protests in the Greek islands earlier this month as locals and refugees said it had increased their suffering. Irregular migrants and smugglers have reportedly found another route through Evros region in north Greece.
The Spanish authorities announced that it had rescued a total of 240 people trying to cross the Mediterranean in 11 small boats from North Africa this weekend, while one person drowned.
According to the UN, at least 660 persons have died crossing the Mediterranean so far this year, while another 22,439 persons have safely reached European shores.