At least 37 Bangladeshi nationals drowned after a migrant boat, which was heading to Europe from Libya, capsized off the coast Tunisia, local media reported on Sunday.
According to the United News of Bangladesh news agency, ASM Ashraful Islam, labor counsellor of the Bangladesh’s Embassy in Tripoli confirmed the figures and said that there were 51 Bangladeshi nationals among others on the boat.
With the help of the Red Crescent, Islam said, the Bangladeshi embassy is trying to reach Tunisia to get further details and conditions of its nationals.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s Foreign Ministry said that among the 16 rescued people, 14 are Bangladeshi nationals.
Later, speaking to reporters, Bangladesh's Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said he could not confirm the death toll, saying 37 Bangladeshi nationals are missing.
“This is a tragic and terrible reminder of the risks still faced by those who attempt to cross the Mediterranean," Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR special envoy for the Mediterranean said in a statement.
The International Organization for Migration also termed the incident deadliest since January.
At least 164 people have drowned in the first four months of 2019, while crossing the sea from Libya to Europe, according to the UN.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.